We have been talking about gifts lately.
Gifts can come in many, many forms from that engagement ring promising a lifetime of commitment to that forced smile when we open up a “fashionable” sweater from Grandma. God’s gifts also come in many shapes, sizes and colors…
I ran across the following a few weeks ago when working on a project for church and was reminded of it today. The Lord loved us enough to create laughter and allow us to feel joy in our heart. (That’s a gift) He has also given us GRACE. (There’s another one) Sometimes he combines them. (My favorite gift! )
How to Get Into Heaven
A woman dies and meets St. Peter at the Pearly Gates. Peter says to the woman, “Here’s how it works. You need to have one hundred points to get into heaven. You tell me about all the good things you’ve done. They are all worth a certain number of points. If your total is 100 or more, you can come in.”
“Well,” says the woman. “I was happily married to the same man for 52 years. I never looked at another man. I was attentive and loved him dearly.”
“That’s great,” says St. Peter. “That’ll be two points.”
“Hmmm,” says the woman. “This is going to be harder than I thought. Well, I attended church regularly, volunteered my time and tithed faithfully.”
“Wonderful,” says St. Peter, “That’s worth another point.”
“One point!” says the woman. “Okay, okay. I was involved with a woman’s prison ministry for twenty-five years. I went into the prison, at least monthly, and shared Jesus with them.”
“Wow!” says St. Peter. “That’s another two points!”
“Only two points!” says the woman. “At this rate, it’ll be only by the grace of God that’ll I’ll ever get into this place.”
“Bingo!” says St. Peter. “That’s 100 points! Come on in.”
Praise God for the gift of His grace… because just like this example above, we can’t earn our way into heaven– but he has given us that nonrefundable present. It seems like such a simple gift with no fancy wrapping paper or ribbon, but instead by the body of Christ. That alone means so much!
No Receipt Needed,
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” –Ephesians 2:8-9