Proclaiming an Indescribable Gift
It seems that the craziness of a worldwide pandemic is starting to conclude. Families are beginning to re-establish familiar routines. If anything, we have perhaps gained a greater appreciation for things we took for granted. Visiting elderly parents or grandparents, going to restaurants, or attending high school basketball games are more treasured than before.
The worldwide pandemic may have granted us an opportunity to re-define our treasures in life.
How will we respond to sustain their value?
Jesus talked about treasure that mattered. He is the only one that can supply gifts that have lasting, eternal value. They are gifts that go beyond description and human understanding. Jesus had to use parables to help people grasp the depth of God’s love. Treasures that have eternal value can only be received as a gift.
The indescribable gift of the forgiveness of sins
The incomparable gift of the Holy Spirit
The truly “indescribable” gift (2 Cor. 9:15) of the forgiveness of sins brings a person in God’s presence forever in heaven.
The “incomparable” gift (Eph. 2:8) of the Holy Spirit brings faith and sets a person free.
In its purest sense, presenting a gift to another person is prompted by love or appreciation. The act of giving ought to mean that nothing is expected in return. When a person extends forgiveness, it can be described as a gift – especially to those who have hurt a person and are not remorseful. Yet, it is often said that in the act of giving, the giver receives as much joy as the receiver. The seeds of resentment and bitterness can be buried, and the saplings of hope, freedom and peace begin to grow in its place.
The greatest gifts are prompted and inspired by love.
Our human nature tends to treat the act of forgiveness as a law. Those who break laws deserve to be punished, not forgiven. Therefore, there ought to be a limit to the number of times a person extends forgiveness to another person. Forgiveness is viewed as something to be earned rather than a gift.
The Apostle Peter requested a law for forgiveness. He asked Jesus, “Should I forgive seven times?” “No,” Jesus answered, “but seventy-seven times.” Something thought possible by Peter was deemed impossible. If there was a law associated with forgiveness than it would be impossible to obey because only perfect love fulfilled the law — not our actions.
It was perfect love that prompted Christ to die on the cross and by so doing, fulfilled the law.
The Apostle Paul mentions that its easier to lay down your life for a friend. But how difficult would it be to lay down your life for someone who is undeserving, unworthy, or unrepentant? Their words or actions would disqualify themselves from receiving any type of gift — especially forgiveness. But this is what God did for the world. His forgiveness can never be earned but only received.
God’s perfect love is an incomparable gift. It is a love that stretches beyond direction — as far as the east is from the west. It is a love that is unfathomable because it goes beyond the depth of our understanding.
God’s perfect love is described as an indescribable gift. It is a treasure that only Christ can extend. Christ’s mercy – his forgiveness – is extended to all who aren’t – and can never be – worthy enough to receive it.
Forgiveness is a gift. Grace is a gift. All made possible by an act of love that carried Christ to the cross.
Sacrificial love and forgiveness extended to others is one of the greatest ways to introduce Christ to the world.
For those who receive love and forgiveness, they see Christ.
For those who observe us extending love and forgiveness to others, it can provide credibility to proclaim. People who don’t know Christ need to witness the presence of Christ before they hear a message of what he has already done. Credibility grants permission to proclaim — and invites a willingness to hear brief reasons for the hope Christians have in Christ. Frankly, many will be hungry to hear but reluctant to ask.
We can proclaim:
“I can honestly say that I struggle with forgiving others. But what helps me is to remember that Christ has already forgiven me of all my sins. Right now. I may always have a hole in my heart due to hurt and emotional pain caused by others. I may never forget their words or actions, but I can forgive. I can break free from the past and live for today because Christ lives for me and my future is secure. I trust his promises that he cares and provides all that I need. Believe in Christ. Trust in him. And you will receive treasure that really matters.”
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