October 30, 2010

These Gifts Are Ours, Right Now!

Romans 3:21-26

In [Christ] we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
Colossians 1:14


We have our ways of doing things; God has his. We want to earn what we get. God, knowing that we can never earn what we need, gives it to us as a gift.

Paul urges us to joyfully give thanks to the Father who has already qualified us “to share in the inheritance of his people,” has already rescued us from the powers of darkness, and has already “brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves” (Colossians 1:12-13). These are amazing things that God has already done for us.

Paul then reminds us of what we now have: we have redemption—we don’t have to wonder if it will ever come. It’s already accomplished, and it’s ours to celebrate! We have forgiveness of sins; it’s ours today, setting us free from guilt and shame, free to live for God and for others.

These gifts are available to us because of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. And they are ours when we are “in Christ”—that is, when we identify ourselves with Jesus, align our lives to his, and live with him and for him as our Lord and Savior. And because of these gifts, we joyfully give thanks to the Father.

Some people have characterized Christianity as a sour, joyless religion. But it is not that way at all—for, in Christ, we are full of joy and thanksgiving!

Gracious, gift-giving God, with joyful thanks we receive and celebrate your life-giving gifts. In joyful gratitude we will share them with others today. Amen.

About the author — Harvey Stob

Rev. Harvey Stob and his wife, Audrey, served as missionaries in Argentina for eleven years. They then served churches in Cincinnati, Ohio; Ridgewood, New Jersey; and Ann Arbor, Michigan. Harvey retired from full-time pastoral work in 2009. He and Audrey have three children and seven grandchildren.

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