What Do I have?
What have you been given that you are perhaps not appreciating. Christmas is still fresh in our minds, but the new year is already well on its way with all the responsibilities and new beginnings that come with it. But before we move on from gift-giving and receiving gifts, I want to remind us of three gifts we receive when we become believers that we often forget. These three gifts make all the difference in our lives as we embrace them and appreciate them for what they are.
The gifts are Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and a Family
Although this may seem obvious when I speak about salvation, the gift of Jesus and a relationship with Him is so much more than just a relationship with Jesus. It also includes forgiveness of sin:
Ephesians 1:7 “In him, we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.”
Psalm 103:12 “As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”
Jeremiah 31: 34 “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”
The Lord not only forgives, but He also forgets, never to bring it up again. As a result, we don’t have to live with regret, shame, or guilt; we have a new slate and out of our relationship with Christ; every day is an opportunity to start with a clean slate.
With Jesus also comes redemption, which is understood as redemption from sin, being lost to the power of sin. But for me, it is more than that; it is that which was lost, restored, broken healed, and dead is made alive again. Whatever needs to be restored to its original condition is possible with Jesus. Jesus fixes it, restores it like new in our relationship with Him.
He also gives us the gift of eternal life, with an eternal inheritance in heaven and a place to call home as citizens of heaven.
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
Philippians 3:20-21 “But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control.”
When Jesus left earth after His resurrection, He was adamant that the disciples were to wait for the gift of the Holy Spirit. Jesus knew that we would need the Holy Spirit as our teacher and guide:
But you have received the Holy Spirit, and he lives within you, so you don’t need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spiritteaches you everything you need to know, and what he teaches is true—it is not a lie. So just as he has taught you, remain in fellowship with Christ. (1 John 2:27)
Our source of power to fulfil our life purpose:
“And now I will send the Holy Spirit, just as my Father promised. But stay here in the city until the Holy Spirit comes and fills you with power from heaven.” Luke 24:49
“For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live.” Rom 8:13
Our enabler to participate in the life Christ has given us:
“ His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these, he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” (2 Peter 1:3-4)
Finally, a relationship with Jesus gives us one final gift that is incredibly precious. We are now called children of God and have brothers and sisters who all have a relationship with Christ as we do. We call God “our Father” and relate to Him as a child belonging to Him.
“Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” (1 Cor 12:27)
“The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.'” (Romans 8:15)
Not only do we have the rights as children, we are now part of a Body of Christ, in which Christ is the head. We relate to other believers as one body, sharing our gifts and talents to fulfil Christ’s purpose for our personal lives and other people. We a part of something greater than ourselves in the body of Christ, having a mission and mandate. We are no longer alone but placed in a body of believers to do life with, love, and know Christ.
Great and precious gifts
When one starts to meditate on the value of these three gifts, one cannot help but be amazed once more at the generosity of our Lord, the undeserved favor (grace) He has showered on us.
Thank you, Lord Jesus, for salvation and with it all the gifts that become mine in You. Thank you for forgiveness, restoration and eternal life. Thank you, Holy Spirit, for living in me and helping me to become the person You Lord want me to be. Thank You, Father, for being my Father, loving me as your child and placing me in your family with brothers and sisters. Thank you Lord for these great gifts that often don’t get appreciated or thought about by me. I meditate on them anew and my faith is refreshed.