What did you get?

Do you remember everything you got for Christmas last year? Two years ago? 5 years ago? Unless you’re a person who records everything in a little book, your answer is probably, “No”. Sure you might remember that candle, or set of screw drivers, but after a while you just kinda forget about the gifts you received. Maybe you said thanks a time or two when you received it, maybe you even sent them a thank you card out of duty, but it is not something you bring up every time you see the person who gave you the gift.

You probably can recall some of those gifts when you were younger, like when you got those socks or that old antique that your parents said you “had to wait ’til you’re older to appreciate”. Do you remember your disinterest? Do you remember how you just tossed the gift aside looking for something better? Maybe just last Christmas you had to act like you were thankful, when on the inside you were thinking, “I really don’t need another pair of fuzzy socks.” You have also probably felt guilt, when you felt you should get a gift for someone because they gave you a gift the year before.

Now I am not going tell you that you just need to appreciate things more, or tell you that if you thought of all the people who would just love a sweater in the shape of a heart, it would be so much easier to be thankful, or that if you would just act like you loved it, you would.

I am, however, going to say, “Don’t do that with God’s gift!” Don’t forget God’s gift in a year or two. Don’t just toss it aside. Don’t look for something more interesting. God did not give it out of duty, but out of love. We didn’t deserve God’s gift. We already have a Scrooge at Christmas, we don’t need one at the Cross.

For by grace are ye saved through faith;

and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God:” ~ Ephesians 2:8

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Redemption

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They sat there by the city wall, at the close of the day,

This city was their prison now, they would never find the freedom way,

They had fallen for pride, and loved idolatry,

Now the true and only living God has brought them to captivity,

They had fallen asleep in self and sin,

and now they were here, with this city as their prison.

~~~

Hark! Hear the watchman, hear the watchman call,

Publishing peace, salvation, and good tidings for all,

Awake! Awake! Oh, Jerusalem Awake,

God can redeem again, make no mistake,

Shake off the dust, and the gathering dirt of sin,

Put on the garments of righteousness, O daughter of Zion.

~~~

God is reaching down, He has rolled up his sleeve,

Break forth into joy, God’s hand will redeem,

Depart, Depart! And leave this prison,

Walk out through the city’s gates, and from your life of sin,

God will go before you, leading the way,

and He’ll follow up behind you, and beside you stay.

~~~

So break forth into singing, for God reigneth over all,

Have beautiful feet, and bring to others the redemption call,

Be the watchman, and lift up your voice,

Jerusalem sing! Ye waste lands rejoice!

For God’s hand is mighty, and He is able to save,

He came to redeem, and brought redemption when His life He gave.