Have you received this gift?

Most people love to receive gifts and are grateful for the generosity of the giver. Gifts arrive on birthdays and other special occasions, and then there are those that come out of the blue, just because we are loved. Sometimes we can choose our gifts, and sometimes we hope for things without knowing whether we will ever get what we hoped for. Recently I came across the results of a survey, which found that many people hope they will get to heaven by being a good person and by doing enough good works to balance imaginary judgment scales in their favour. Others believe it is important to have some kind of faith, no matter which one. The interesting thing here is that people focus on hope or faith, which prompts the question: How do we know that our faith is valid and absolutely reliable? How do we know it will achieve what we hope for?

I am sure that most of you sat on many different chairs during your life-time. Think about it for a moment… you sat on each one of those chairs without even thinking about possible consequences. And why was that? Because you believed that each chair would surely support you. If that weren’t the case, you would have checked each one before sitting down. But what would happen if you sat on a faulty chair? You’d come crashing down! And then you would realise that your faith in the soundness of that chair had been misplaced. You would have learnt that it is not the strength of your faith that is important, but the strength of the object you place your faith into! You would have learnt to ask: Is the object of my faith reliable? Does it have the power to deliver what my faith expects? The Bible teaches that the only object worthy of our faith is Jesus Christ, because He died for all sinners and became the mediator between God and man/woman. And as such He is able to deliver His promise of forgiveness.

Did you know that the word sin was originally a marksman’s term? It meant a shortfall of the specified target, a missing of the central mark, the bull’s eye. No matter by how far the arrow missed the target - whether it be the tiniest margin or a huge gap - it was still sin. In Biblical terms this means that no matter how many good works a person may do, or how religious he or she may be, every person falls short of the Creator’s perfect standard, and there is no exception. The Bible says that all of us have sinned, and that the penalty for sin is death. But because of His great love for us, Christ took our place and died for our sins. And as a result, He is the only One who can save us from an eternity without God in the presence of Satan and his angels, an eternity of torment. This is why He could say: “I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved.”

Is there anyone more worthy or reliable to be the object of our faith? As the Bible says: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Do you find a need of forgiveness in your heart? If you do, you can turn to Him right now, wherever you may be. Communication lines to heaven are always open, and you can talk to God as you would to a trusted friend. Believe that Christ died for your sins and that God raised Him from the dead. Humble yourself before Him and ask His forgiveness. And then be baptised to show your identification with Him.

If you really mean it, a spiritual miracle will take place in your heart and you will know it! You will be given new life in Christ. You will become a child of the Most High God and live with Him forever in a place of joy. But if you reject Christ, you will face an eternity of torment without God. The choice is yours...

I hope to see you in eternity! Margaret


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