I just returned from visiting my mom. This was my first visit in two years and was the longest that I’ve ever gone between visits. Due to my work schedule changing, I was able to give a surprise visit to my mom and be a part of a family welcome party to my mom moving into her new house. It was a surprise to her that I was there for a visit because she didn’t expect me to be there until the end of next month. Her new house came from her old one (the one which I grew up in) burning down back in mid-February. It was a total loss of the house and its contents yet praise be to God for my mom, visiting niece and two nephews being awakened at the start of the fire and their getting out of the burning house without any harm.
As many people are, my mom was way underinsured. The insurance coverage she had on the house and its contents came up way short of being able to replace the house let alone replacing any contents. To cover the extra cost of replacing the house, my brothers and I split it three ways and offered to mom the gift of the amount she needed to complete the purchase and setup of a brand new modular home to be placed on the same location as the original house. Other family and friends along with a number of people throughout the county, offered to mom a house full of contents which included everything she needs to move into and live in her new house. Mom thanked everyone for the gifts and she graciously accepted them and thanked God for not only the gifts but also for such loving outreaches she was getting from everyone.
Prior to my going to visit my mom, I talked via email with a friend of mine Brian, whom I have known for around 15 years. Brian wanted to know some information about Jeeps so I told him what I know about them. He mentioned that he and his wife were thinking about getting a Jeep to ride around in on nice days to enjoy the Smoky Mountains. To Brian’s surprise, I via email offered to him as a gift two Jeeps that I had which were located there in Tennessee. One a parts Jeep which was at my mom’s and the other one a Jeep which I had gone through mechanically a few years ago which I had left for my uncle to use at his leisure. My uncle was no longer driving it due to it being a straight shift and his knee being too stiff to use the clutch. I wasn’t about to have the two Jeeps brought out to where I now live as the cost to do that would be greater than if I just bought one out here. So I had a thought; I’d offer them to Brian as a gift.
Brian was very surprised at my offer of the two Jeeps to him as a gift yet he was very excited about it. Another few emails later he emailed back and told me, “I'd have to pay you some $$$…I don't want something for nothing.” To which I replied in email that the towing of the parts Jeep would cost him something which would be enough for me. My intent was to give them freely to Brian while I was there in Tennessee.
When the time came for Brian and I to visit, he was respectfully insistent that he did not want to accept the gift I was offering him. Brian just could not get over the thought of my giving him something which he didn’t do anything to get or had to pay. I was insistent that he didn’t have to pay or give to me anything for them. After a few minutes, we agreed that he’d not accept the Jeeps. Brian did not accept the gift I freely offered to him.
On the plane back I got to thinking about the similarities between my mom accepting the gifts she was offered and Brian not accepting the gift he was offered and God’s gift of His only begotten Son, Christ Jesus (Romans 5:8; John 3:16; John 4:10; Acts 2:38; Romans 3:19-31; Romans 5:15-17; Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8). It really is a gift that God offers to us because He does not force us to accept Christ Jesus as our savior, He lets us make the choice for ourselves to accept the gift of life He offers to us or not.
My mom was not forced to accept the gift that my brothers and I gave to her nor was she forced to accept the gifts that everyone else gave to her, she freely accepted these gifts because she really wanted to accept them. Brian was not forced by me to accept the Jeeps I offered to him as a gift and he freely declined the gift I offered him.
It is exactly the same with God’s offering to you and me the gift of love He has offered to us. God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life (John 3:16). Those who believe in Him are not judged; those who do not believe have been judged already, because they have not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God (John 3:18). Those who believe in the Son have eternal life; but those who do not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him (John 3:36).
My suggestion to you is that if you have not accepted God’s gift of love that you seriously consider doing so. Don’t just do so because I or anyone else told you to do it; do it because you have seriously thought about it and have done an honest search of your heart and of the truth so that you know for sure that you are accepting God’s gift because you honestly want to accept it. Remember, God does not force you to accept His gift to you; you have to accept it for yourself.
Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift! (2 Corinthians 9:15).