Some Gifts Need Instructions

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Matthew 28:18-20 – Jesus came and told his disciples, "I have been given complete authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you." (NLT)

The water had frozen, and the pipe had burst. Icy cold water was shooting all over our daughter and son-in-law's fully finished basement.

"Why did it happen?" I knew that it was 28 degrees below zero, but I couldn't understand why the pipe had frozen. After all, our son had given our son-in-law insulation to put behind the pipe to protect it from the winter cold. There was twice as much there as he needed in that gift of insulating protection.

As we all worked mopping up the mess, I pondered why he hadn't used it. I knew that it wasn't laziness; I knew that it wasn't apathy. Could he have simply forgotten? Later I was told that he had remembered that he had the insulation, but he didn't know how to use it properly to get the full benefit. We all assumed that he would know how, or would ask. But then, why would he, coming from the west coast where thick insulation was never needed?

Our son generously gave the gift, but he didn't explain that it needed to go between the exposed pipe and the outside wall to be effective. Instead, our son-in-law wrapped the pipe, trapping out the warm, saving air of the basement.

I was struck by the thought that we, as Christians, should be mindful that we don't make the same mistake. We reach out to tell of the salvation offered by our Lord, but do we fully explain to "newbies" how to use that gift? Or do we assume that they'll either figure it out or ask?

If we unwrap God's gift of salvation and use it properly, we will experience Jesus as our insulation, protecting us through all the inclement times in our lives.

Prayer: Gracious heavenly Father, thank You for the insulating gift of salvation offered to us in the blood of Jesus, Your Son. Help us, Father, as we bring others to the knowledge and love of Jesus, to remember also to give them the instructions on how to apply His insulating power to their lives. Amen.

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About the author:

Deb Saffin
Cranbrook, British Columbia, Canada

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