Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Meditation for the week of May 4, 2008

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Giving and receiving gifts can be a hard thing to do in our culture. Most of us want to do something either to deserve the gift or to repay the person who has given the gift. It is hard to just say “thank you!” In addition, many people give gifts anonymously so that the person receiving the gift will not only accept it but will not feel any obligation to the person who gave it.

My dad used to raise bees and he produced some of the best honey in the world. It was crystal clear because he handled it carefully. For the most part It came from sweet clover and if there were any other flowers involved, usually they were from the basswood trees. The experts considered sweet clover honey with a little basswood a connoisseur’s delight. Honey could have a certain percentage of water and still be considered pure by government standards. My dad did not add water to his honey like some producers did so that they could make just a little more money. So when relatives would visit us, dad would often offer them a jar of that pure, clear, tasty honey as a gift. Usually they would balk at taking it without paying. Dad usually would not accept payment so before they left they would often give us kids a little something. I remember getting a fifty cent piece for a jar of honey that would have sold in those days for at least a dollar. Did my relatives get a gift? No! They got a bargain and in the process they devalued the gift. I never remember my dad getting offended because his relatives didn’t know how to just say “thank you”.

The Lord gets offended when people do not receive His gift with a “thank you.” His gift is His Son. Through His Son He gives us eternal life. Some have rightly said that God is too rich to sell and we are too poor to buy His gift. We cannot pay for it and we cannot work for it. All we can do is say “thank you.” Some people ask the Lord to save them. This is somewhat like holding a gift in your hands on Christmas morning and asking the giver to give it to you. That wouldn’t make much sense. The only way to receive a gift is to say “thank you.”

Saying thank you is difficult. I know that by experience. I have been in the Lord’s work living by faith for many years which means that any requests for money are made to the Lord and not to men. Sometimes I receive gifts from people I feel I should be helping and it is hard to just say “thank you.”

When the giver of a gift gives a gift with no expectation of some benefit, that person usually feels good about what they have done particularly when the gift meet a real need and when the gift is received with thanksgiving by the person in need. The Lord must feel good when needy undeserving sinners receive the gift of eternal life through His Son with thanksgiving.

We need to say thank you Lord if we haven’t already. Mrs. Seth Sykes has put it so well in the chorus that we often sing with the children:

Thank you, Lord, for saving my soul,
Thank you, Lord, for making me whole;
Thank you, Lord, for giving to me
Thy great salvation so rich and free.

Bruce Collins

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