Read: Romans 5:12-21 God’s free gift leads to our being made right with God (Romans 5:16).

A few years ago I received an email wishing me a happy Christmas. I was grateful for the message and thought nothing more of it until a few weeks later when I reread it. As I reviewed the words more carefully, I realized that I had missed the fact that the email contained a gift voucher with a limited time to redeem it!

It would be pretty silly for us to leave a present unopened. The love and care shown by someone who selects something special for us should result in our eagerly and thankfully unwrapping it.

We give gifts at this time of year as a reminder of the greatest gift God has given us—His Son Jesus Christ. In accepting Him as Lord and Savior, we have access to the most incredible relationship with God. The apostle Paul wrote of the greatest gift of all time. It’s found in “God’s wonderful grace and his gift of forgiveness to many through… Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:15). This free gift provides for our salvation from sin and death. Paul wrote, “God’s free gift leads to our being made right with God, even though we are guilty of many sins” (Romans 5:16). Yes, as we turn from our sin and receive Jesus as our Savior, we can enjoy “a right relationship with God and new life” (Romans 5:18).

I almost missed out on a really great gift because I didn’t read an email properly the first time. And just as I had a limited time to redeem my gift voucher, we too have limited time to redeem the gift of God’s salvation through Jesus Christ. Although God is patiently waiting for everyone to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9), there will come a time when Jesus returns for only those who have opened His gift of salvation. May we know and share that most precious gift this Christmas! —Ruth O’Reilly-Smith



Read Ephesians 2:8-9 and consider what it reveals about a gracious gift from God.


Have you opened God’s gift of salvation and blessing? What does it mean for you to be right with Him?


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