Thanks for the gift

Published 10:57 am Friday, April 15, 2011

I guess the word is out that I like to eat. I am not hard to please, and included in the vast variety of things that I like, pies and cakes are certainly high on the list.

I had an unexpected sweet gift brought to me recently that I am enjoying immensely.

My wife answered the phone at home the other day and told me that someone wanted to bring me a pecan pie. I did not know who it was at first, but after I realized who it was I knew I was in for a real treat, because I have heard about his pies. I have probably eaten some of his cooking before while visiting at Friendship Methodist Church, but all their food is good over there, and I rarely know who cooks what—I just enjoy it all. But now I was about to have the opportunity to try one of those pies that I have heard about.

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After a brief telephone call to let the gentleman know that I had gotten his message the day before, it was only a few minutes before he was driving up at the front door of First Assembly of God Church and personally delivering into my hands a beautiful pecan pie.

I can now testify with personal experience that those pies are every bit as delicious as I have been told!

There is something else that made the pie even better: it was a gift. I did not have to pay for it or do anything to deserve it. It was given to Gale and me as an anniversary gift. That act of kindness did not have to be extended to us, but it was—not out of obligation or requirement, but simply as an act of Christian love. Even though the pie will soon be gone (I plan to make a little more of it disappear as soon as I finish this writing), the expression behind it will not be forgotten.

As we approach Holy Week and reflect upon the suffering of Jesus Christ, we need to be very careful to keep in mind that we could never deserve what Christ did for us; He did it because of His great love for each of us.

We live in a world in which the standard of righteousness has been lowered and the theological beliefs of so many have been compromised to accommodate those who are unwilling to abide by God’s way. But we must remember that God’s requirements never change and He will not compromise what He has already stated in His Word.

Revelation 21:27 says, concerning the Holy City of God at the end of the age, “Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life” (NIV). That leaves no room for compromise or accommodation; entrance into that eternal place of peace in the presence of God can only be granted through following God’s way, and His way was made available to us through the suffering, death and resurrection of Christ.

Romans 8:23 records, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

During Holy Week do not forget that without Christ’s suffering you would be forever separated from God, but because of His gracious gift of eternal life, you can believe upon Him, receive His forgiveness and become a righteous child of God.