New Year’s Gift

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16

While much of the Western World writes New Year’s resolutions about losing weight or quitting smoking; sticking to budgets or saving more money; being more organized; spending more time with family or learning something new; I give you a different challenge.

It.Is.Finished

Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit. John 19:30

Yes, we have been ensured eternal life in heaven face to face with God. Yet that is not the only reason Jesus came. He came to restore our day-to-day relationship with a God whose love for us is wholly unconditional. He fulfilled the Law so we can live and be loved without condition or condemnation. If you only accept the heaven part without the love part, you are missing out. Langston Hughes expressed it eloquently in his poem, Gifts:

To some people

Love is given.

To others-

Only heaven.

This kind of love is the one-way love of grace.

Tullian Tchividjian, in his book, One Way Love*, describes it this way: “Grace doesn’t make demands. It just gives. Grace is unconditional acceptance given to an undeserving person by an unobligated giver. Grace is a gift, pure and simple; grace offends our sense of justice by being both implausible and unfair. It forces us to rely on the goodness of Another. Grace is the most dangerous, expectation-wrecking, smile-creating, counterintuitive reality there is.”

All the paying-for is done. It is finished.

This new year, I challenge you to open your heart and receive. Welcome God’s love and grace. It will change you. Because once you accept it for yourself, you will be able to accept His love and grace for others.

We will always be jars of clay. At the very same time, we have this amazing gift – because God so loved us – if we would only allow ourselves to become aware of it.

Take possession. Abide in the gift so you can begin to understand the height and depth and width of God’s love for you.

Happy New Year.

*© 2013 Tullian Tchividjian, One Way Love pp. 33, 35, 37, David C Cook, Colorado Springs, CO

19 comments

  1. My dear sister in Christ,Susan..
    Very Happy belated New Year,sis. May God’s blessings always pour out upon you abundantly 🙂

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    1. Thank you, Karina. And you as well, my sister.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Gotto love Les Misérables. And Liam Neeson does a great job in this rendition. You have a very blessed 2015, full of His love and grace.

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    1. Thank you, Mel. This scene from Les Mis always serves as a wonderful illustration of grace for me. Going to be writing lots more about grace this year. I just have a need to pour God’s loveliness all over everyone, like maple syrup on French toast. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Happy New Year, Susan. May it be rich in blessings.x

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    1. You, too, sweet sister. 🙂

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  4. Thank you for this and all your messages and encouragement, Susan. Happy New Year and new blessings, too.

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    1. Thank you so much, Beth. I can hardly wait to see what this new year brings. So nice to be settled. Once the winter hibernation wears off, I will relish what He has next in store for me.
      Bless you and Geoffrey with all love and joy. ❤

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  5. Happy New Year, Susan! 🙂 ❤

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    1. Bless you, Natalie. May His love and beauty continue to shine through you. ❤

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  6. This is such a lovely post, I hope your new year is full of peace and love. God bless you in the new year!

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    1. Thank you, Terri. Much love to you and yours.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you 🙂

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  7. May you have the gift of Christ’s love, joy, and peace in 2015.

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    1. You as well, Sue.

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  8. I LOVE that scene, it is the best one in the whole play/movie! Happy New Year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree, Jim. And it’s that gift of grace that turns him around, the gift he extends to Jabert in the end who, unfortunately, cannot accept it.
      Happy New Year to you, too. 🙂

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  9. To have just a small feeling and understanding of how much God loves me, all of us. It is such a wonderfully excepting and safe feeling. It is difficult for humans in the flesh to understand Jesus dying on the cross for us. We were not there. It is a all together different situation when God does something for us no human can do for us . For us it looks like peace, love and dwelling with us in a unexplainable way. Knowing that he is right over our shoulders, keeping us. This post is so profound and filled with the wisdom of Jesus. I asked God this morning driving down the road how much longer he would dwell with us this special way. His answer. As long as it takes. I am always here. Blessings and much love to you Susan. Thank you for Sharing this with us.

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    1. As long as it takes. Great response, Tom. I think that’s true, and for each of us, that’s a different time. I pray we all “get it” this year as He gives us that compassionate time and attention.
      Love and grace to you and your family.

      Liked by 1 person

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