Our family has been through a lot of transitions over the last year. In August all my kids began attending a new school. It’s a great school but, my kids have really been struggling. Until this year they had the same home, school, teachers and friends. They had a calm, steady, consistent life that required few adjustments to their norm. However, in May of last year all of that changed…..😐
We adopted a beautiful little girl, we moved, travelled to Africa for a month, started new jobs, sold our home, bought a new home, AND… in August the kids began new schools. Yeah… just a bit of change. 🤪 OK… massive overhaul and serious life interruptions! 😜
Being the ‘good’ parents we are ,,,,,(you can’t see me laughing, shaking my head and eye rolling 😂🙄) I mean really?! Who is a ‘good’ parent – right?! 🙈 We are all trying to survive this crazy thing called parenthood and pray our kids don’t end up in therapy! We pray A LOT, apologize all the time, and then pray more. Being a parent is hard!!
Following Jesus obediently is even harder!! It requires you to trust Him with ALL you cannot control, which is basically… EVERYTHING!!!!!
My girls decided to buy some Friendship Bracelets so they could hand them out at school to show their gratitude to the new girls that have befriended them.
They were very excited the morning before they went to school. By the end of the day, I was anticipating asking them how it went.
As My daughter Eva, got in the car at pickup, she immediacy began to share.
She said, “Mom, I gave out my bracelets today. I told them I was giving the bracelets to them because they are my new BFF’s. ( Ahh how sweet, I thought!) ….AND…. if they take them off, EVER….well….(long pause) they just won’t be my BFF anymore!” (Eva is in first grade.) 😳
MY eyes got big and I instantly said, “Eva, you can’t do that!” Eva replied, “Well mom,,,that’s HOW I know they are my friends. If they take off what I gave them then we just can’t be friends anymore!”
Needless to say Eva and I had a long heart to heart. We talked about what friendship means and how true friendship doesn’t come with terms, but out of genuine desire to be kind, loving, and giving. We then began to talk about what is a true gift.
I told Eva, “Eva, a true gift is something you give away without strings or conditions. You give it because you care about that person and it is an expression of the love you feel toward that person.”
As I was having this conversation with Eva I began thinking about all the gifts I had ever received. Out of all of them, hands down, the gift of being in a personal relationship with Jesus is the greatest!
Knowing Jesus is truly free gift that in return cost me everything, but, not through pay back or proving. It is the only gift I have ever received that called out the best in me and spoke directly to my greatest need. It’s actually one that even if I tried to pay back – I couldn’t.
The beauty of the gift of Christ is that He doesn’t want pay back. His love is SO sacrificial, SO loving, SO rescuing, SO redeeming, SO selfless and SO life altering. ALL I can do is receive.
In return, I give my everything because the value of this gift is incomparable to anything. My love is deepened and my desire to know, seek, and love Jesus is driven by the gratitude of the gift He gave. In fact, the gift is SO immeasurable and SO beautiful that I want others to experience it too! So, I gift it to others. Not out of requirement, but out of the deep expression of love I received that I desire for others to know this love too. It truly is the gift that keeps on giving and can never stop with the one that received it.
Ephesians 2:8 says…..
“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.” It’s a gift I cannot earn by being good or performing, it DOES NOT have strings attached.
Romans 6:23 says…..
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” It’s a gift that frees me from death and gives me true life!
How about you? Have you received this gift? Or, have you received it with terms – “It’s only truly yours if you do this or do that?”
Can I tell you something?
Jesus NEVER puts terms on His gift. He doesn’t tell you that you have to be good enough, clean enough or religiously proper. NO, He says, “Receive what you cannot buy or earn. Just because I love you.”
Have you truly experienced this gift? And if you have…. Are you Gifting it to others?
John 15:13 says…..
“Greater love has no man than this, that He lay down his life for his friends.”