God’s Great Gift Isn’t Traditionally Wrapped
By Rick Warren
“Out of sheer generosity God put us in right standing with himself. A pure gift. He got us out of the mess we’re in and restored us to where he always wanted us to be. And he did it by means of Jesus Christ. He sacrificed Jesus on the altar of the world to clear that world of sin”(Romans 3:24-25 The Message).
The greatest gift ever given wasn’t bought in a store. No cash exchanged hands. It wasn’t even traditionally wrapped—instead, this gift was wrapped in swaddling clothes and placed in a manger.
Yet it cost the Giver everything.
The Bible says God sent his Son to Earth as the greatest gift ever. He came to die and make you right with God. Romans 3:24-25 says, “Out of sheer generosity God put us in right standing with himself. A pure gift. He got us out of the mess we’re in and restored us to where he always wanted us to be. And he did it by means of Jesus Christ. He sacrificed Jesus on the altar of the world to clear that world of sin” (The Message).
So why did Jesus have to die? Let’s go back to the basics.
- Nobody’s perfect. I’ve never met a single person who is perfect, and neither have you. I don’t measure up to my own expectations, much less God’s perfect standard—and neither do you. We’ve all blown it. The Bible says, “All of us have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory” (Romans 3:23 CEV).
- God is just. God wants to be fair. When somebody breaks a law, there must be a penalty for it. When you break man’s laws, you pay man’s penalty. When you break God’s laws, you pay God’s penalties. The Bible says, “The payment for sin is death” (Romans 6:23 NCV).
- Jesus paid the price for our sin.The Bible says, “God took the sinless Christ and poured into him our sins. Then, in exchange, he poured God’s goodness into us” (2 Corinthians 5:21 TLB). Jesus took on my sin and your sin and all the sin that has ever been committed. That’s the Good News, the Gospel. Jesus paid the price you could never pay.
- Accept God’s free gift. God offers us the free gift of salvation because Jesus took upon himself our sin—but it’s a gift we must choose to receive. The Bible says, “To all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12 NIV).
If you haven’t accepted God’s free gift of salvation, I pray you will make that decision today. It’s one thing to understand the basics of how to have a relationship with Jesus. It’s another to accept the gift.
And if you’ve already made that decision, I pray you share the Good News of Jesus with someone who needs to hear it.
For more Daily Hope with Rick Warren, please visit pastorrick.com!
Daily Hope 2018 Prayer Journal
Learn how to pray prayers that expect answers!
Do you sometimes struggle with how to talk and listen to God? The good news is he longs to hear your prayers, whether it’s a bold cry or a whisper. And your words don’t need to be perfect. He delights in you when you come before him—in thanksgiving and petition.
Jesus says in John 15:7 . . .
“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”
So the key to praying with hope and expectation is abiding in Christ—and we want to help you do that with the all-new Daily Hope Prayer Journal. Your faith will be strengthened and you will be blessed as you look back on your written prayers and see how God has faithfully answered them.
It has a soft cork-like cover on the outside, while inside you’ll find . . .
• Bible verses and suggestions to help you pray for specific people and situations
• Practical encouragement for your prayer life from Pastor Rick
• Plenty of space to write out your prayer requests and how God answers them
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This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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