I’m not talking about physical gifts today, but one that God gave.
Of course, our first understanding of a gift is, well, a gift. Not profound, but utterly simple. You don’t pay for a gift. A gift is free. The same way if someone gives you a house as a gift, it means you don’t pay the mortgage. Also, when you give someone a gift, especially when the person has accepted it, you don’t take it back, do you?
Salvation is a gift. It’s something God gave, and it has been nothing of our doing (we are sad, wretched, screwed up people). Many times it seems like this fellowship with God is strained, or when we feel far away from God, we will increase our prayer quota, we will attend more church services, tithe more.. all in hopes of getting back into God’s good books, and although we know that its theologically wrong, we still somehow, in our attempt to ‘do something about it’, try to ‘earn our salvation’.
Our salvation is a gift that He gave. Nothing we can attempt to do can pay Him back for what He has does, with Jesus on the cross. No amount of church services attended, no amount of effort to serve in different ministries, no attempts to look holier than thou can earn us our salvation.
The gift of the Holy Spirit, the constant fellowship with God, is also given. I believe, once given, He does not take it away. We may choose to keep it in a corner of our lives, store it in our storerooms, but He does not take it away.
It is easy to lose sight after being in church for so many years. You find yourself ‘doing church’, just doing what you were supposed to be doing. (I used to think that after so many years in church, I got all that ‘protocols’ down pat.) And just with one fall, one shortcoming, it may seem like we’ve got casted down from heaven to hell. Then the doubts come, wondering if we’ve walked so far away from God that He lost us, or were we even Christians at the first place. Human nature says that do something about it, find your way back, work your way through and get back to where you were with God before, or at least look like all is fine and dandy.
But like the lost sheep that has gone astray in Luke 15, we can’t do much, we don’t know the way back. The Shepherd comes for us, the Shepherd comes to rescue us.
I suppose all we had to do is let ourselves be found. And realise that we cannot do anything to pay Him back for what He has done, and that we cannot do anything in parallel to achieve what He has done for us before.
Let us stop trying with our feeble efforts to reach God. We’ve already had Him, we’re already back in fellowship, in an unbroken relationship with Him because of what Jesus has done.
So then, sisters (and brothers), we can start falling in love with Him. (: