To celebrate Christ’s first coming, many gifts will be given to children all over the world by Samaritan’s Purse and other charitable groups. They usually contain toys and the Good News of Yeshua the Messiah, noting that He was born to reconcile man to God and bring the GIFT of eternal life to all who would believe.
The pictures of these impoverished children show radiant joy when they receive these gifts. This may be the first real present that these children have received! And they accepted them gratefully.
When we did a camp for the Children of Chernobyl, they were so thankful for everything they received: from the trip on the boat to the ice cream sundae party to the little dolls of the region. Some children asked to take treats back to their siblings. When we parted, it was sweet sorrow.
Sometimes American people are not so thankful. Some think society owes them. Some are out for all they can get and give little care to appreciate their benefactors. Sadly, they miss the opportunity to be grateful.
But let’s go back to the grateful children.
LIKE A LITTLE CHILD
When a child receives a gift, their hands are out. They receive with enthusiasm the present. This is how we are to receive the Kingdom of God.
Mark 10:14 “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. 15 Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.” 16 And He took them up in His arms, laid His hands on them, and blessed them.
The Kingdom of God and salvation are gifts to those who believe in their hearts like a little child and receive the GIFT!
JOHN 1:12 But as many as RECEIVED Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: 13 who were BORN, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but OF GOD.
Here we are talking about becoming children of God, the born-again experience (BORN…OF GOD). Now we are destined to live with God in the Kingdom of God! Who has this power to adopt us, to turn us from “children of wrath” to “children of God”? No one but YHVH, the LORD! So one must believe in Christ’s name – that He is able to give this GIFT. No one can offer the Kingdom of God and eternal LIFE but God! How would one take this gift if one did not believe that Christ could bestow it on us?
Then, this GIFT OF GOD must be received.
The GIFT of RIGHTEOUSNESS
How often does the Scripture refer to this GIFT of God? In this one short paragraph, this GIFT OF GOD is mentioned 5 times! It truly is a GIFT OF GOD!
ROMANS 5:15 But the FREE GIFT is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and THE GIFT BY THE GRACE of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many. 16 And THE GIFT is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the FREE GIFT which came from many offenses resulted in justification. 17 For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the GIFT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.
When Yeshua was at the well speaking to the Samaritan women, He also referred to this salvation as a GIFT OF GOD:
JOHN 4:10 Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the GIFT OF GOD, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”
It is also mentioned by GIFT in Romans 5:15; Romans 11:29; Acts 2:38; Acts 8:20
BELIEVE & RECEIVE
How do you receive this GIFT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS from God, if you believe in your heart? Put your hands out, even metaphorically, and receive it into your hands like a child!
ROMANS 10:9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.