My mom has always told me, “Faith is a gift”.
I remember her saying this when I was young and then thinking, “Why do some people get the gift and other people don’t?” It didn’t seem fair.
As I’ve gotten older I have begun to see what she means. Faith is a gift.
St. Paul writes, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you; it is the gift of God; it is not from works so one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
God’s grace is a gift. Everyone gets the gift… but not everyone accepts it.
Accept the gift.
It’s not for some of us. It’s for all of us. God doesn’t give His gift to certain groups only. He doesn’t favor the wealthy or the learned. He doesn’t give His gift only to the Baptists or the Catholics. He doesn’t give grace only to white people or people who live in the United States. He doesn’t discriminate. We do but He doesn’t.
This is good news. God’s grace does not depend on what I look like or how much money I have or if I sit in the front pew of church. I don’t have to light candles or say the Rosary or give thousands of dollars to the church. It doesn’t depend on me. Thank God. (Literally.) Because I would really mess it up. He doesn’t keep a tally sheet and then hand over grace to the “good” people.
Can you imagine if you actually had to earn your way into heaven? Please. There is no way to earn it and we don’t have to. We just have to believe.
I think we tend to make things more difficult than they are. Of course, there is more to living a life in Christ than just believing in Him. But that is the first step. I think we look for transformation first and then we say we’ll believe in God’s promises as in, “I’ll believe it when I see it”. We stand back and say “prove it”, “show me”, “give me a sign” but we aren’t ready. We have to say “yes” first and then the transformation starts happening. If you want it, it’s there for the taking. You just have to accept the gift.
If you haven’t yet accepted God’s gift of grace, take another look.
Imagine this… it’s Easter morning and you are really looking forward to the Peeps and the Reese’s Easter eggs and piles of jelly means and peanut m&m’s. You see the basket and you realize that in addition to all the yummy stuff you can’t wait to eat, there is another gift. It’s the gift of God’s grace.
The basket is filled with all of the things God’s grace brings to us including love, peace, joy, hope, mercy, forgiveness, redemption, new life. Our baskets are overflowing!
You stop, you hesitate, you think, “Wait a minute, nothing is free, what do I have to do to get all of this?”
You question, you worry, you think…”Why me?” You wonder, “What’s the catch?”
There is no catch. God loves you and wants to free you from your fears and worries. He wants to give you a solid foundation to build your life. He wants you. You as you are now…not the “you” that is twenty pounds lighter or a million dollars richer, not the “you” that learns to cook or keeps a perfectly clean house or volunteers more often. He’s not looking for the “you” that you show the world. He’s looking for the real you. He wants all your flaws, all your fears, all your sins, all your doubts. He is that strong and that loving.
He is offering you a gift. All you have to do is accept it.
©2012 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™ All Rights Reserved photo from: http://www.livingdevotionally.com.