8 You are saved by God’s grace because of your faith. This salvation is God’s gift. It’s not something you possessed.
What was the best gift you ever received? For many of us, the best gift ever was a special gift we received when we were a child, at Christmas or for our birthday from someone we loved. Or maybe it was receiving a pet or a new baby in the family, or that you were going on a long awaited trip.
The best gifts are often unexpectedly generous because the person has invested all their time and energy into finding the perfect gift that will bring you joy. We’re usually so touched by receiving the gift that we can remember all the details about the time and place, years after we received the gift. And the “best gift ever” keeps on giving and influencing us years after we have received it, with fond memories that fill us with love and joy.
In our long list of gifts we have received, the best gift ever is from God. The gift of salvation from God is freely offered to us. This is not a gift we can earn on our own merit. We are so precious to God and God loves us so much, that no matter how lost in sin and no matter how broken we are, how messy our lives have become, God loves us right where we are, right now. Whether you’re experiencing the dark valley or on the mountain top of life, God loves you and is with you.
Even in the daily mess that life can be, we get to live out the miracle of God’s extravagant grace in our lives. Before we even come to faith in Jesus, God is already at work in our lives through the Spirit, by preparing our hearts and minds to receive Christ to respond in faith. This is also not something we do on our own, God invites each of us into an eternal relationship.
It is God’s loving grace that transforms our hearts and changes our lives. So God’s grace prepares us, redeems us and continues to transform us, throughout our lives as we follow Jesus.
By Jeneene Reduker
For Pondering & Prayer
This verse brings so much joy and comfort into our lives. Salvation is God’s gift to us through the sacrifice of Jesus, it can never be earned by us, not through good works, good behavior or bargaining. So the pressure to live a perfect life is replaced by the joy of living a loving life of following Jesus. God’s loving gift of grace filled salvation is truly the best gift ever!
Are you trying to earn God’s love? Are you worried that you can never measure up? God loves you as you are, where you are, right now, offering you salvation through Jesus Christ. Accept God’s eternal gift and be transformed by God’s love.
Prayer: Loving God, we confess that we still try to earn your love instead of accepting your free gift of salvation. Open our eyes to see your extravagant grace at work in our lives so we can live loving lives by following Jesus. Amen.