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Day 22 – “A Puzzling Gift”

A few years ago, I bought Christmas Hams for my neighbors and delivered them. Nothing says Merry Christmas like a spiral-cut, honey-glazed, bone-out ham. All were very appreciative, but one was very confused. He could not understand why I would do that. I had never met him and he even stared at me with a puzzled look, scratched his head, and turned around and went inside. As I was about to leave, he came out again and said, “For free? I don’t deserve this. Maybe someone else can use it. Tell me again, why you are giving me a ham?” I told him I felt like God told me to and then I shared the gospel with him about Jesus being the Savior sent to this world from heaven. He became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14). He is Immanuel, God with us (Matthew 1:23). We are all sinners (Romans 3:23), but Jesus came to save us (1 Timothy 1:15). He responded, “So that’s why you’re giving me a ham?” I chuckled a bit and said, “Yes, and I was trying to be friendly.” He still couldn’t wrap his head around a free ham because of Jesus.

Delivering a free ham to someone unexpectedly at Christmas may seem a bit odd to some, but that’s kind of like God’s gift of salvation. The gospel, the free gift of salvation through Jesus, bewilders some. “Tell me again, why did Jesus come to earth?” some may ask. The answer is to give us the free gift of salvation and save us from our sins. It wasn’t free, it cost Him His life. To tell you the truth, it bewilders me as well. Why would Jesus leave Heaven, come to earth, become a man, and go through the heartaches and headaches of this world only to die a horrible death on the cross? The answer is to forgive us from our sins. “So that’s why He came?” some ask. It’s hard to imagine Jesus would come and die for me. I didn’t do anything to deserve it, and I’ve been a terrible person at times. Why me? The answer is simple: because of His great love (Ephesians 2:4-5) and desire to call us friends (John 15:15). While it still perplexes me that Jesus would save me, I am extremely thankful for His free gift of salvation (Romans 6:23).

Questions: Does Jesus’ gift of salvation overwhelm you? Have you thanked God for His gift of salvation?

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Stephen and his wife Haley have called Arkansas home all of their lives. Stephen has served in several ministry roles over the last 25 years and as a lead pastor for the last 8 years. Stephen attended Williams Baptist College and earned a BA in Biblical Studies from Ouachita Baptist University, an MA, MDiv, and DMin in Christian Leadership and Pastoral Ministries from Liberty University. When not pastoring, Stephen enjoys running, cycling, reading, writing, camping, fishing, and spending time with his family.

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