This past week I had a friend who gave me a vintage Esterbrook fountain pen. I have a deep love for fountain pens, both old and new. What made the gift even more special is that he had painstakingly restored it himself. I knew how much time and effort he had put in. The pen had a beautiful blue luster when he had finished with it. Blue is my favorite color and especially on fountain pens. I offered to pay him for the pen, but he quickly refused. It was a gift. To treat it any differently would have offended him.
I learned something about myself. My personality coupled with my calling as a Minister is to serve. I am happiest when I am doing something for others. However, I learned that I struggle when someone does something for me. I am not complaining, but I am usually not on the receiving end of gifts. I realized that I have a hard time with this. It is a lot easier for me to give someone a gift or do something for someone than to receive. I always feel like I should somehow compensate them. There is a real art to receiving a gift and being grateful. I need to work on that. I think we all feel this way at times.
This got me to thinking about salvation. We have a hard time receiving God’s gift as well. I see people all of the time trying to do things so they can deserve their salvation. They are constantly truing to win God’s love by doing things they think He wants them to do. The greater the value of the gift the more we want to try and compensate for it. Our salvation is a gift. There is nothing we can do that would ever be enough to compensate for what Jesus did for us on the cross. When my friend gave me the pen; I had to stop trying to pay him back and just receive the gift. It is the same with our salvation. I have to let go and receive the gift.
Every time I use this pen I will think of my friend and how special it was to get a gift like this. What reminds you of the free gift of salvation that God gave you? There are markers in my spiritual life and the ordnance of the Lord’s Supper is one of them. It is a great time for remembering. How closely related is learning to receive a gift connected to salvation?