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Seeds of the Kingdom

The Perfect Gift

by John Berry

25 January 2013

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The free gift of God is eternal life.
Romans 6:23, ESV

It’s my wife’s birthday very soon, and as it is not long since Christmas the usual dilemma presents itself – what do I get her to show how much I love and value her? With a very limited income, the options are not huge! It was difficult to find ‘that special gift’ last month (and I’m not sure I was too successful) and to find a new one is challenging. In addition having been married for over 41 years it is a problem finding something different.

Fortunately God didn’t have that problem. When considering what gift would be best for mankind, He went for the top-of-the-range model and decided on the one thing that would not grow obsolete or be no longer relevant. The Bible tells us that that ‘the free gift of God is eternal life’ (Romans 6:23). All other gifts are less than this. All our human desires, wanted experiences and material ‘must-haves’ are as nothing compared to the knowledge of Jesus and the gift of life that flows from Him. As Paul says in Philippians 3:7-10, ‘whatever was for my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ… and the power of His resurrection’. However much the things of this life seem satisfying or desirable, true fulfilment is only the life that endures into eternity.

Even the gifts of the Holy Spirit are secondary to this greatest gift from God. Gifts of healing, prophecy, evangelism and so on will not have relevance in the eternal heavenly Kingdom of our Father God. Again Paul states this in 1 Corinthians 13, reminding us that when the gifts have passed away only faith, hope and love remain.

In any time of gift-buying that occurs in our lives when we are searching for that special present for a loved one, remember that the very best gift has already been given to us, eternal life with God through Jesus. Just as our heavenly Father has given us the perfect gift because He values us so highly, let’s value one another with loving attitudes and actions – of greater worth than the most costly material item.

I hope my wife will value her birthday present, whatever it may be, but I also know that she values more God’s amazing gift to her of eternal life. And that’s how it should be!

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You so much for giving us the best possible gift of life. Thank You that You don’t ask us to be good enough for that gift, and we ask that You help us to respond to it in the way we relate to one another in love. Amen.

John Berry entered the Baptist Ministry more than 40 years ago, and joined the Team at Ellel Glyndley Manor in 2007 with his wife Jennie. They have both now retired from the team but remain as part of the Teaching and Associate Ministry Teams at Glyndley. John and Jennie have seven Grandchildren.

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