The greatest gift

I found myself puzzling over a question that I thought was a simple one. "What is God's greatest gift to us?"

Easy, right?

Of course, the answer that most often pops immediately to mind is Jesus. But I don't think that's the best answer.


As I have considered, one of the first things that comes to mind is grace. Where would we be without grace? Too terrible to think about.

And Jesus is a major manifestation of that grace, of course, and I am profoundly grateful for him.

But there is one thing - too often overlooked - that makes it possible for me to even have a relationship with God. I would be toast without it. It may be that it's an aspect of grace, but I had never thought of it in that way, though I have often thanked God for it.

What is it, this great gift?

Patience.

God is so amazingly patient. He is always there when, though my ineptness, I make a mess of things. He is always there when, as sometimes happens, I intentionally mess things up, acting out of selfishness.

Where would I be without this patient God? The very thought sends me into a black pit of depression.

This is a very important matter for me.

The character of God matters.

For example, I have heard the claim that Christians and Jews worship the same God as the Allah of Islam. But I don't think that's the case, and one of the reasons is that the God of the Bible and the Allah of Islam are radically different in their character. The God of the Bible is overwhelmingly gracious, freely forgiving, and wonderfully patient.

The God of the Bible goes to great lengths to be known for who he is, seeks to enter into intimate relationships with those who follow him, calls klutzy people like me - who can never measure up or meet the standard - to come and follow him, to enter into an intimate, conversational relationship with him.

The Allah of Islam knows nothing of that.

It seems that God most loves those who just can't get it right. They make mistakes, they sometimes disobey, and in general, their greatest talent is making mistakes. That certainly includes me.

God calls us to himself, into his wonderful, loving, lavish, patient grace, even though he knows better than we do that we are utterly unworthy, and will always be.

I thank God for his patience.

And I pray that his patience with me will be reflected in my patience with myself, as he recreates the character of Jesus in me.

Amen.


12 Comments

I have never thought of this before.I certainly would have perished because i have made some mistakes in ministry,yet i see Him patiently and graciously bringing me back.I will forever serve Him

As a 59 year old, who has just started college after 40 years, I find this something to ponder!!! Thank you!

As one who finished three college degrees after my mid-40s, I wish you the best. Never forget that us older guys again and again outperform the kids in the classroom. Go for it!

Joseph,

I am so happy to remind you that God looks at our heart, and not at our mistakes. Hallelujah!

1 Corinthians 13 The Greastest Gift,
The greastes gift is LOVE.

Allah, Jew, Christians, we all claim there to be one God, correct me if I am wrong. it's what we do with God for example. He is the Creator of the Heavens and earth. Muslims chose to believe the teachings of Muhammed, Jews choose not to believe in the son, and Christians believe in the son. Muslims believe in Jesuse, but they don't believe he is the son of God, but they do believe God used Jesus as well as Muhammed, The Jewish people refered to the "God of Abraham, the God of Moses, The God of David, etc....Starting to make sense now.

If this question was asked by a Christian, I urged you to read the word more.

I would like to add to this thought, "What is God's greatest gift to us?" Faith

so glad He looks beyond my faults and sees my need
morning by morning new mercies I see, and for that I'm grateful

Faith is indeed a wonderful gift. However, my faith is often wobbly, and his gracious patience with me keeps me going.

Daniel,

I both read and study my Bible voraciously, and have read it cover to cover a number of times. In it, I see a God who is passionately in love with his people, and who exhibits great patience with them as they show over and again that they are imperfect human beings, who are trying to learn to know, love and serve him. I stand by my answer.

What is God’s greatest gift to us?
I do think that probably the best answer is Jesus. But if it is not Jesus, what is it?
I my opinion grace is not a gift, neither is patience. These are attributes of God that we can share as attributes in common. If you thank God for his patience, then that shows the patience belongs to God and is not a gift given to you. Your reflection about the God of Christians and Jews vs the god of Islam is not relevant to your question. But I most certainly agree Allah of Islam is not the God of creation that Christians and Jews worship.

The greatest gift mankind (all of mankind not just Christians) was given was being created in the likeness of God. At creation we were given a soul (Gen 2:7) when God breathed into the man and he became a living soul (not living being, as modern translations say). We were created in God’s image and in his likeness (Gen 1:26). This likeness has to do with the nature (character) of God. We have intelligent reasoning abilities. We were given the responsibility to make up our own minds, determine our own futures, and the ability to reason out and decide our own course of actions. We can reason, change our mind, and determine between right and wrong. Just like God, we can love and hate, speak forcibly or kindly, we can show respect, mercy, and justice.

We have the nature of God and that is the greatest gift. And what is the nature of God? “I am holy,” Lev. 11:45. “He is the Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are equitable. A trustworthy God who does no wrong, he is the Honest, the Upright One (Deut 32:4). God is love (1 John 4:16). These are attributes of God that we all need to strive toward. But being created in the likeness (different than image) of God is the greatest gift God could have given mankind. It has set us free, given us the free-will to choose for ourselves the way of righteousness that leads to eternal life (another likeness of God) or the way of evil and death.

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  • Ruth Anne said:
      What is God’s greatest gift to us? I do think that probably the best a...
  • Larry Baden said:
      Daniel, I both read and study my Bible voraciously, and have read it ...
  • Larry Baden said:
      Faith is indeed a wonderful gift. However, my faith is often wobbly, a...
  • charlotte johnson said:
      so glad He looks beyond my faults and sees my need morning by morning ...
  • Tim Locklear said:
      I would like to add to this thought, "What is God's greatest gift to u...
  • Daniel Martinez said:
      If this question was asked by a Christian, I urged you to read the wor...
  • Daniel Martinez said:
       Allah, Jew, Christians, we all claim there to be one God, correct me ...
  • Daniel Martinez said:
      1 Corinthians 13 The Greastest Gift, The greastes gift is LOVE....
  • Larry Baden said:
      Joseph, I am so happy to remind you that God looks at our heart, and ...
  • Larry Baden said:
      As one who finished three college degrees after my mid-40s, I wish you...

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