I read that in the USA, the total unredeemed value of gift cards purchased is estimated to be around a staggering twenty-one billion dollars. It made me think about the gift cards I have partially used or not used at all.
I can think of one occasion I added to that figure of twenty-one billion dollars, and it was a large sum of money, too.
The problem was, to redeem the gift card I had to spend some of my own money. At the time, our family couldn’t afford the extra money to spend with the gift card. What we would have received in return for the expense didn’t seem worth it. My husband and I weighed the cost and decided it was not worthwhile.
The gift card sat in my “to do” box for a long time. Eventually I discarded it.
However, there is one gift, far more valuable than my unused or any other gift card, which often goes unclaimed.
The Bible tells us:
For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life John 3:16 (NLT)
The gift God gives us is whole and lasting life through his Son, Jesus.
Yet, we tend to think the gift will cost us something. Maybe, we think we have to give up something we like or a way of life we enjoy. Or, perhaps we see it costing us freedom in our thinking—that we will conform to certain ideas.
If we accept Jesus, we also have to believe he is the only way to God. And that doesn’t sit comfortably when we want to be inclusive. We may be under the impression that God’s gift of life through Jesus means being unaccepting of other religions and beliefs.
Our generation is not alone in this struggle. Accepting God’s gift is not just a modern, twenty-first century dilemma.
The problem started the moment Jesus opened His mouth, claimed to be the Son of God, and offered the way to life. Jesus infuriated people. That’s why they wanted to put Him to death and be done with Him once and for all.
Yet, Easter is a reminder that God’s gift of full and everlasting life is still on offer to everyone, even if ironically we have doubts about the cost to our own lives.
God’s gift has not expired. It does not cost us anything to cash it in.
Is there anything holding you back from fully accepting God’s gift? Is there someone you can pray for this month, that they will be willing to accept God’s gift?
Photo by Alice Donovan Rouse on Unsplash