Focus – God’s Three Gifts
By Lt. Colonel Mervyn Morelock –
As we have been traveling the territory, conducting Good News Crusades, nearly every corps and institution has been so kind in presenting my wife and me with little gifts. Often it is a jar of jam or fruit from the area. One recent gift was a package that said, “Two Hawaiian steaks.” When we opened it, we found a can of Spam! Another gift was a hand knitted dish towel. It was an unusual gift to be handed to us by the officer’s young son who said, “This is for being here, so that my parents would take us to the Pancake House. I’ve been asking them to take me there for a long time!”
Gifts. We all like to get them. Soon we will be celebrating the greatest gift ever given; God’s gift to mankind, his own Son, Jesus. When Jesus was given to the world, he did not come as a king or a conquering general. He came as a baby; innocent, helpless, and sweet. The gentle Jesus. A strange way for the Son of God to come to the world!
Recently, I saw someone give a gift in a small decorated shopping bag. I thought it was a strange way to wrap a gift! Stuffed in a little shopping bag with a piece of tissue paper and called it “gift wrapped!” When I saw the carefully chosen gift that was inside, I realized that it is not the wrapping that mattered, it was the gift. The precious gift. “In the city of David, a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:11)
The second gift is Grace. The classic definition of grace is, “The unmerited favor of God.” “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-not of works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8) The sinner in need of God’s grace needs nothing to recommend him, except his need. You cannot work for it. You cannot buy it. Your money is no good when it comes to paying for it. Other things come C.O.D., but not grace. It is free of charge.
The third word is Guest. Recently, while browsing through some very old books on my shelf, I noticed the book by Brengle, The Guest of the Soul. I’ve had the book for years, but I don’t think I’ve ever read it! The chapter with the name of the book begins, “A friend of mine said recently, ‘I like the term, Holy Ghost, for the word Ghost in the old Saxon was the same as the word for ‘Guest.’ Whether that be so or not, it may certainly be said that the Holy Ghost is the Holy Guest. He has come into the world and visits every heart, seeking admittance as a guest. He may come to the soul unbidden, but he does not come in unbidden. He may be unwelcome. He may be refused admission and turned away, but he comes. He is in the world like Noah’s dove, looking for an abiding place. He comes as a Guest, but as an abiding one, if received. He forces himself upon no one. He waits for the open door and the invitation. He comes gently. He comes in love’.”
Three words: God’s Gift, Jesus. God’s Grace, Salvation by Faith. God the Guest, the Holy Spirit. That’s the “Good News of the Gospel!!”