new life fellowship

serving jesus christ the king

June’s verse

(by Robert McCollum)
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith, and this not from yourselves it is the gift of God” Ephesians 2:8

We all love getting presents. Be it Christmas, birthday, anniversary, any occasion will do—we love presents. And there seems to be something in us that enjoys giving presents. We like watching people’s faces as they unwrap their gift. The look on a child’s face on Christmas morning—priceless.

But imagine this scene. You have spent a great deal of time and money on just the right present for that special someone. You give them the gift, and they love it—brilliant! But to your horror, they pull out their wallet and count out how much they reckon it’s worth—as if to reimburse you. They want to pay you back! Somewhat insulted, you try to say, “It’s a present!”, but they press you to take something for it.

Similarly, God tells us that salvation is a gift. It is a present from God. Can you imagine how insulted God feels when we try to buy salvation from him? We try in countless ways to earn his favour. We break our backs to live good and decent lives in the hope that God will save us. But what if it doesn’t work that way? This month’s verse tells us we are saved by ‘grace’.

Grace is a great word in the Bible—it means ‘favour shown to people who do not deserve any favour at all’, or more simply ‘gift’.

God reaches down to hopeless people like you and me and he offers this free gift of salvation. Like a coastguard helicopter, he is encircling us, with the spotlight trained on every single one of us, urging us to grab the lifeline. He is offering a free gift. Do what we like, we can never save ourselves. And we desperately need saved. Left to ourselves we are floundering in murky deep waters. Some feel the strain and can barely keep their heads above water. Some are blissfully unaware of the danger they are in. Some on the other hand, are reaching out and grasping Jesus.

At the cross we see God’s grace. There Jesus took our punishment so that we could be offered a lifeline. We can be saved and put right for eternity solely and entirely by the gift—grace—of God. What a gift! Will we insult God by trying to earn it, or worse, by rejecting it completely?