Just recently I had the joy of watching my daughter open gifts on Christmas morning. It was great seeing the excitement in her eyes as she carefully removed the paper from each gift. At what point do we lose that excitement when receiving gifts? Maybe it is when we grow up and start receiving things that we need, and not necessarily those things we don’t, but want anyway. I am not entirely sure when we lose that youthful joy to receive gifts, but I do know that we daily receive a gift that should bring that same joyful anticipation of what is coming next.
I was reminded recently that we have two incredible gifts. The first is the gift of Salvation. Salvation from our own sinful nature and desires. Many people miss the point that this is a gift. In John 3:16 (probably the most well known verse in the Bible) it says that “God so loved the world that He GAVE His only son…” How many times do we read that and take that word “gave” for granted? People often say that they cannot go to Heaven because “you don’t know what I have done.” Well, the one giving the gift knows exactly who you are and what you have done, and He is still giving that gift to you. When we get a gift on Christmas, or for any reason, we do not get our wallet out and try to give that person money for it. That would be absurd, but we often try that with God. We think that perfect church attendance or tithing is what makes us worthy. We do not receive the gift of Salvation from God because of who we are, it is because of who He is.
The second gift that we receive is each day. That is right, each day itself is a gift from God. We are not promised any given number of days. Do any of us wake up each morning and have that same youthful excitement about what that gift may hold? Do we wake up each day with a smile on our face and look excitedly around every corner for what the Lord is going to provide for us? It is often said “they were taken too soon” when someone younger passes away. The fact of the matter is, God allowed that person to be on this earth exactly how long He needed them to be here. It may not make sense to us, but God has a perfect plan. We can best serve this plan by waking up each day and savoring the gift of taking the next breath and using it to glorify God.
One thing is for certain, we have a responsibility. With each of these gifts, we have a responsibility to share God’s love with those around us and to glorify God with every waking minute. God has given us two amazing gifts and it is our job to go the 2nd Mile.