As the day comes that we pay homage to the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, which allows us the chance to accept His free GIFT of eternal life (John 3:16), I’m spending more and more time thinking about what He’s done for me. His GIFT (eternal life) is huge, and like many others, I don’t really feel I deserve it (but He disagrees)!
We are told in Romans 3:23 that all have sinned and have actually fallen short of God’s GIFT (eternal life) and His glory. My own merits (described as “filthy rags" in Isaiah 64:6) won’t get me anywhere. I have NO chance of living forever! None! Nada! Zip!
Oh wait. The GIFT. Wow, how could I forget?! I guess I DO have a chance after all. But is He really just giving it to all who want it?! There must be a catch.
I’ve looked for the catch, and there IS one, but so far it’s the only one I’ve found. John 3:3 records the "fly in the ointment" (for non Americans, that means the problem situation). When Jesus was speaking to a Pharisee named Nicodemus, He said that a person must be “born again” to enter God’s kingdom. I can hear Morris Vendon saying: “Born AGAIN?? Well, how does _that_ work?” Jesus explains Himself to Nicodemus. He wasn’t talking about a physical rebirth. “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” When Jesus spoke of being born of water and the Spirit, He is talking about baptism, water baptism and the baptism of the Holy Spirit (which may or may not occur simultaneously). And since God's kingdom is only accessible to mankind after Christ returns, this is clearly talking about the GIFT of eternal life.
However, unless I claim the GIFT (just like with a birthday present), I don’t get to enjoy its contents. All of us must open the GIFT in order to have the gift.
I have opened my gift from my heavenly Father, and on that precious day, I’m planning on being in God’s kingdom. Please tell me I’ll see you there, too.