Tag Archives: gods gift

No Strings Attached 


We all get those calls where they’re offering a “free cruise”, a “free weekend in Vegas” or a “free TV”. I never accept because of the strings that are attached. To me, they’re luring me into a trap and whatever is “free”, is not worth the frustration I’m going to have to go through to get it. My buddy fell for it once. He told his wife, “Look, we need a get away. Let’s just do this. We can’t afford what they’re selling anyway.” They went, but he told me the sales people were relentless the whole trip. They couldn’t enjoy themselves. 

I tell you that, not to demean those salesmen, but to remind you that when someone offers us something, we get pretty skeptical. Our whole lives we wonder, “What strings are attached to this?” We become pessimistic with people who offer to help us, give us something, or even say something nice to us. We wonder what they want. What’s their hidden motive. I’ve been known to put off “having coffee” with a friend because I know they’re in a home based sales group. It’s not that their product isn’t good, it’s that I don’t want to be ambushed.

Let’s take this a step further. How many times have we taken that mentality into our relationship with God? How often do we wonder what strings are attached? What’s His hidden agenda? Is He trying to send me to some place in the world with no electricity or internet? Think about salvation. It truly is a free gift. You can’t earn it. You can’t buy it. He gives it freely, yet we can’t understand that because there’s nothing “free” in this life. We wonder what the catch is. The truth is that God is not out to get you. It’s truly free.

I love what David wrote in Psalm 33:4. He said, “For the word of the LORD holds true, and we can trust everything he does” (NLT). We can trust what He does in our lives and the free gifts He gives us. He’s a good Father who wants to give things to His children. His Word holds true. He’s not trying to trick us. So whatever He’s doing in your life, you can trust that it’s for your good, and there are no strings attached. You can trust everything He does for you.

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O Little Town Of Bethlehem 

This time of year, it becomes obvious that many of us don’t remember much more than the first verse of most Christmas Carols. As we lead up to Christmas this week, I want to explore some powerful verses in some of my favorite carols.

  
A few years ago, we were preparing for Christmas. I was putting gifts in boxes, then sliding them to my wife who was wrapping them. After she would wrap, she would ask who the gift was for. On one such gift, she looked at me with pen in hand expectantly. I looked at the box, smiled, and said, “That one is for you!” She had been so busy wrapping that she couldn’t remember what was on the box.

That’s kind of how God snuck the gift of our savior into the world. It wasn’t a big showy presentation. It was delivered in a barn through a humble girl who was barely known. The world would expect the King of Kings to get around the clock coverage, tweets wondering what His name would be, and hashtags so everyone could follow. But that’s not how God did it. He did it oppositely from the way we would have done it.

The lyrics of “O Little Town Of Bethlehem” described it like this:

How silently, how silently, the wondrous Gift is giv’n;

So God imparts to human hearts the blessings of His Heav’n.

No ear may hear His coming, but in this world of sin,

Where meek souls will receive Him still, the dear Christ enters in

God silently sent us His gift of redemption. The path to Heaven was illuminated by a star instead of spotlights. It was announced to shepherds instead of to people of social stature. Those who were looking and listening for Him found a baby lying in a manger in the small town of Bethlehem, which wasn’t even the capital. God entered this world silently so that those who are seeking Him will find Him. Those who find Him and receive Him will have His peace live in their heart and their sins forgiven. Oh what a gift that was given in the little town of Bethlehem.

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