Acts 4:12 – Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved. (NIV)
Ephesians 2:8-10 – For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (NIV)
Years ago at Christmas, a family member gave me a kit that included all the materials needed to complete an afghan. She gave it to me for two reasons. First, she knew I enjoyed crocheting, and would get tremendous pleasure out of creating the afghan. Second, she expressed hopes of receiving the completed afghan as a Christmas gift the following year. She was giving me the opportunity to create something beautiful. Once I accepted the gift, I had to make a decision: to make the afghan, or to let the yarn remain in the kit and do nothing with it.
As I struggled with the decision, I thought of how much this is like the struggle we face when we accept God's gift of salvation. God gives us new life in Christ, and the grace to make something beautiful of it. He is hoping that we will use His free gift of salvation to create a beautiful life and give it back to Him. If we decide not to use the gift, like the yarn, it stays in its wrappings, and doesn't amount to anything of worth. If we put together the gifts He gives us, such as love, faith, joy, peace, patience, and self-control, we will build a beautiful life filled with blessings that will ultimately lead us to the eternal kingdom of God.
Prayer: Lord, thank You for the gift of salvation. We know that it's a free gift, but unless we put it to work and bring about changes, it remains like yarn — useless until shaped. Enable us to accept Your gift, develop it, and give it back to You, so that all are blessed. Amen.