The Sweetest Gift
posted Dec 18, 2011 1:06 PM by Darrin Payne
posted Dec 18, 2011 1:06 PM by Darrin Payne
When I was a child I loved to eat tootsie rolls and Swedish fish. I would go to the corner store or Mr. Buddy’s and get me some penny candy. A quarter would get me enough for myself. $.50 was enough for me to share with my friends. I loved to eat that candy. When I became a teenager I did not eat candy that much and even today I don’t eat candy often. However, I graduated to eating cakes, pies, cobblers and cookies. That is my weakness. I have learned to modify the quantities so that I am not killing myself through hefty indulgence. But I love well-prepared, home-made desserts. Oh, and then there is the occasional indulgence for ice-cream. Lord knows that is a “guilty pleasure.” Umm umm umm!!!!!
Yesterday, I participated in a fund raiser and I baked cookies for the first time. To my surprise I have good skills in this area of food preparation. The event was not well publicized and we did not have a steady flow of patrons. Yet the ones who did buy and eat the cookies in my presence, they all seemed to really enjoy them. There was one patron who actually ate one in front of me and ended up buying 4 more. There was mild over-indulgence going on.
The idea for this entry came to me during a particular exchange yesterday. A lady was eating the cookies and she said now this is a sweet gift. ” I could buy these and give them out”, she stated. However, she hesitated because of her concern about eating them all herself. That got me to thinking. She coined my cookies as a “sweet gift” because of the pleasure she got from eating them. The reason for my love of sweets is because of the instant gratification I get the moment that food hits my tongue. My love affair for sweets is in effect at that moment. There are times when it is so good I don’t want to swallow – but I have to so I can eat some more. When it is good – the more I get the more I want.
Ephesians 2.8 says ” For by grace you have been saved through faith ; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God NASB
During this holiday week ahead, it is really important for me to realize I have the “Sweetest Gift” of all – JESUS CHRIST. I was introduced to faith in Christ at an early age. It was good for me to have the knowledge of Christ and my Salvation early but it was also a hindrance. I took it for granted. I thought that because of my salvation I was free to do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted and however I wanted and I would still go to Heaven. No one could separate me from the love of God and nothing could make me loose my salvation. That type of “spiritual irrationality” kept me sin-sick for MANY years.
I needed to have the experience where the knowledge of salvation begins initiating a desire for my salvation spiritually.
Knowing about Christ is not enough to live a victorious Christian life. Conquerors, walk by faith and not by sight. Faith comes by hearing and receiving the Word of God in your spirit – not in your mind. Whenever the Word of God is heard and processed in the mind it is on the same basis of acquiring knowledge from any literary or reference source. We read and hopefully comprehend the material. While comprehension happens in the mind, the spirit of man is not necessarily influenced by the words – only the soul. The new life begins as the information travels from the head to the heart. Some say that distance is further than a trip from NYC to LA!!!
When you get to where you have developed a desire in your spirit for the salvation you know about to actually be at work in you via spiritual regeneration, you experience the sweetness of Christ resonating in you from the inside out. One example may go something like this:
You thought you were going to get a check in the mail that would be used to buy groceries for the family. The check does not come. You are tempted to call up the issuer and “bless them out verbally” but your spirit moves you to turn the problem over to the Lord in prayer instead. You may even cry over it to the Lord in prayer. Afterwards, during the continued course of your day you notice a flyer that is in your mail. It informs you that there is a free ham and groceries for a week and a $50.00 gift certificate available for you if you go to the location at a certain hour. The sweetness of your Savior is manifesting. Then you get there and to your surprise there is no line. You just walk in and get what the flyer advertised. However, in addition to the expected outcome there is an additional bounty of goods that is more than what you could have even imagined. The sweetness is now making you have visceral responses – praise in your mouth, hands, feet, etc. Then you get home and begin to put the free groceries away and someone starts knocking on your door. One of your neighbors comes by to hand you mail that mysteriously showed up in their box. You thank them and close the door. On your way you discover that the check is there after all.
NOW THE SWEETNESS IS OVERWHELMING!!!!!!!
Jesus is the “SWEETEST GIFT” ever. Once you receive Him “for real for real”, He is the kind of gift that just keeps on giving. Just like I used to eat candy, and still enjoy eating desserts, I LOVE TO TASTE AND SEE THAT THE LORD IS GOOD. It is a blessed experience to have when you TRUST in Him.
Remember to keep Christ in your Christmas celebration.