06/19/17 - Romans 4

June 19, 2017

Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Romans 4:7

Our greatest blessings are not possessions or experiences, but freedom from our past so that we can again become what God designed us to be.

What was the best gift you ever received from your family? 

On my 16th birthday, I wasn’t expecting much.  My mom and family had made a cake and my favorite dinner for me after the baseball game I played in, but our limited income had kept gifts limited for years.  (That was okay, since we were happy with the things we did get to do, but it kept the expectations down.)   On the table was a small gift box along with a birthday card, so I figured it was just something simple from my mom.  Much to my surprise, when I opened the box, it was a set of keys to the family car, along with a paper showing my registration for summer drivers ed classes!  My mom had entrusted me with the keys to the only car we owned, and promised to help me get my drivers license!  I was shocked and blessed!  Even though the gift was not expensive to purchase, it was an incredibly valuable gift.

There’s another gift that is incredibly valuable, though it doesn’t appear to cost much … it’s the gift of forgiveness.  When given, it restores relationships, removes the baggage of the past, and gives freedom to the receiver.  While it may not have a sticker price, it’s of great value to our lives, and lasts longer than a car or other possession.  And when GOD gives it to us, it is priceless!  Without that simple gift, we have no hope of living eternally.

While forgiveness doesn’t have a high price tag, it still has a great cost.  In our case, when we give forgiveness, it costs us retribution and restitution from the person.  And when God sent Jesus to the cross to buy our forgiveness, it cost Jesus his life!  So be careful not to discount the forgiveness given to us by others, it is a highly valuable gift.  In fact, it is the best blessing you ever will receive.

Valuing the gift of forgiveness has a life-changing impact.  Living free of sin and the regret of the past can open the door for us to follow Jesus, love God, forgive our brothers, and love our neighbor.  It can change a life destined for hell into a glorious life headed for heaven.  It can also open the door for an amazing life, filled with joy and purpose. 

So for your next birthday, (or for your next prayer request), why not ask God for the greatest gift you will ever receive.  Ask Him for forgiveness.  It will be much better than keys to a car or cake & ice cream.  It will change your life.

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