God’s gift to us Our gifts to God
BODY & SOUL
By Don Short
I want to start off by expressing my gratefulness to God for His gift to me. In 2 Corinthians 9:15 Paul writes “Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift,” and I first want to thank Him for my salvation. In Ephesians 2:8 we find the verse “For by grace
we are saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is a gift of God.”
Secondly, I want to thank God for the gift of eternal life. This is written in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death, but
the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” This is His gift to me, to you and to all who want to receive it.
What did Jesus say about our gifts to Him? We read in Matthew 5:23-24, “So if you
are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.”
Jesus is saying that before we offer our gifts to Him we are to pursue reconciliation with individuals in our life. How do we go about this reconciliation process? We have to start with forgiveness in our heart. What is forgiveness? First, God requires forgiveness whether or not the offender has repented and has asked for forgiveness. Second, we must completely give up the right and desire to pay back or get even. Third, we need to speak the truth in love to restore the relationship. Relationships that may be in need of reconciliation are relationships filled with avoidance, coldness, stress and irritability. Our reconciliation with God was achieved through Him sending His Son to suffer and die on the cross. We now can be reconciled to our Heavenly Father. Reconciliation is at the very heart of God’s mission here on earth and we need to make it the heart of our mission here on
earth also. This Christmas season, add reconciliation to your list to give to others, to free yourself and to follow the teachings of Christ. Reconciliation frees you to be the person that God wants you to be. Christ forgave those who hung Him on the cross before He died for our sins. In Luke 23:34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for
they do not know what they are doing.”
Remember that reconciliation is more about you than the other person. It positively affects your relationship with God, it clears issues in your past, your capacity to enjoy the present (another gift from God) increases significantly and it gives you reassurance that your future is secured in Him. Every day I try to help individuals understand the importance of forgiveness and reconciliation. The individuals who choose this path find new joy, love and peace as their lives are transformed and their relationship with God moves to a more profound level. Don Short is a licensed counselor with After Hours Counseling. He and his wife reside in Acadiana.
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