Ephesians 2:8-9 – 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. (NIV)
Years ago, my uncle walked from his workshop — the behind-the-hedge kitchen piece of the former old farmhouse — then he came out across the grassy house yard and into the kitchen of the newer house. He held out his hammer to me. He knew that he was dying of cancer. "I want you to have my hammer," he said. The claw hammer was a bit heavier than average, with a solid, time-smoothed wooden handle. He said, "I won't be needing it where I'm going." I gratefully accepted it.
Jesus Christ knew that He was soon to leave the earth. He knew that He had gifts to give us in the world:
He had His life to give. He said, "The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life — only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father." (John 10:17-18)
Jesus knew that through Himself, God had not just day-to-day life to give to us, but also eternal life. Jesus knew that He would give His life to ransom us from the damnation of evil. He said of Himself, "The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many" (Matthew 20:28). His promise is, "I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish." (John 10:28a)
Since He was about to leave this world, He promised us, "I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever — the Spirit of truth" (John 14:16-17a). "The Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you." (John 14:26)
Jesus reassures us with yet another gift: "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." (John 14:27)
Let us accept with gratitude all of Jesus' gifts, and share them with many.
Prayer: Dear God, thank You for showering us with all of these gifts, especially the gift of Your Holy Spirit to be with us forever. Thank You for the peace of Your promise of eternal life with You in heaven forever after death. Thank You for saying, "I will never leave you or forsake you." Please continue to lead us into all truth. Please protect us from Satan's schemes. Amen.
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Listen while you read: "Under His Wings" (Lyrics)