“…But the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” –Romans 6:23
My 9 year old son loves cinnamon roll. Earlier this week, I bought some Cinnabon Bites, got up on time to warm it the oven, packed it in his lunchbox to surprise him. I was excited at the idea of him opening his lunchbox at school and discovering his favorite snack. I pictured him enjoying his treat with a smile on his face. Imagine my disappointment when I found out after he returned home from school, that he had thrown away the package —unopened.
There is a significant spiritual parallel to this story. God our Father loves us. That love is anchored in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” Max Lucado wrote: “The Maker of the stars would rather die for you than live without you..”. Jesus birth, life, death, burial and resurrection was God’s ultimate gift to fallen humanity. I imagine the depth of the love of God, poured even in the preparation process of his plan of redemption. Perhaps having a conversation with the angels, saying “Look and see how they will be overwhelmed with joy and forever changed by my gift!”. Yet many have kept the gift sitting outside the door of their hearts, unopened.
Jesus came that we may have life, and have it more abundantly, yet many will be found guilty of having denied his gift of salvation. Others have opened and received his gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ, but still go through life, leaving his gifts of joy, peace, comfort, deliverance, love etc unopened. God delights in blessing His children, as it says in Luke 12:32: “…it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom”. In order to enjoy the benefits of a gift, it must first be opened. Our failure to open the gifts God presents to us, keeps us from experiencing the fullness of what He has in store for us.
After talking to my son, I showed him other things I had purchased for his enjoyment, that he would have to wait to have access to, because of his actions. Heaven’s storehouse will be full of unopened gifts, unless we choose to receive with gratitude and joy, everything that God out of his bounty, so lovingly, and so freely gives us.