This summer the local South Carolina peach farm had an excellent crop of cling-free peaches! They were large. They sported a blend of red, yellow, orange, pink, and gold colors across their outer fuzz. They balanced a wondrous blend of tangy tartness with succulent sweetness. They were juicy enough to make indoor-eating a challenge. So, we bought three bulging baskets and took them to my family in Iowa. The peaches were a gift that they greatly appreciated.
Now, would they have valued our gift if they had refused to accept it? What if they had said that they weren’t worthy or couldn’t afford the gift? They had to accept the gift if they were going to show that they really valued it. The same is true regarding our gift of salvation. God has offered us the gift of eternal life and forgiveness of sins! This gift is far greater than some silly succulent something from South Carolina. According to Ephesians 2:4, He showed mercy by His great love. According to the next verse he makes us alive in Christ and offers salvation by grace. According to verse six, he gives a citizenship and a home and a status in heaven. He gives out an inheritance in kindness through Christ Jesus. In verses eight and nine we read, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” We have quite a gift!
But we must accept this free gift if we truly value it! The peaches would have done my family in Iowa no good if they would have just said, “That’s nice,” but never accepted them. Likewise, God’s salvation from sin does no good to people who recognize what it is but never accept the gift for themselves. Have you ever asked Christ to be your Savior and received His free gift of eternal life and forgiveness of sins?
Furthermore, if we value a gift, we will use it! What would have happened if my family would have accepted the gift of the peaches and never eaten any? Would they have valued the peaches if they left them to sit in the baskets or even on a shelf? How would they be valuing the gift of peaches if they let the peach fuzz turn to black and white mold fuzz? That would be ridiculous, of course! Similarly, it would be ridiculous for us to accept God’s gift of salvation and then not live out our salvation as God intended. Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” He gave us the free gift of salvation from sin. He gave us the free gift of a relationship with God. How are we valuing the gift if we accept that salvation and continue in sin? How are we valuing the gift if we accept that salvation and don’t walk with God?
Let’s show we value God’s free gift to us by accepting God’s free gift. Then let’s use our freedom from sin by living the Christian life to please God!