“For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” Psalms 103:11-12 NIV
In the Bible, God offers us lots of different promises or “gifts”. The verse above tells us about two of those gifts. Can you find them? Yes, the first one is God’s love for each of us. God loves you, unique and beloved you! God’s love is everlasting, it never ends. God’s love is big enough to love you no matter what you might do or what might happen.
The second gift in the verse is (you guessed it!) forgiveness. Transgressions is another way to say our sins. A sin is something we do that is not pleasing to God, like a lie or stealing. But because of God’s great love and His grace, when we are sorry for what we’ve done and ask Him to forgive us, He does. Just like that. He puts our sins far away and remembers them no more.
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9 NIV God also gives us the gift of salvation. God sent His Son, Jesus, to die on a cross to save (give salvation to) all who would believe. When we are saved we live with the Spirit of God and will spend eternity in heaven with God and Jesus.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 NIV God gives us the gift of His presence. He is always with us. And because we have the gift of His presence, we can be strong and not afraid. We can be brave and not discouraged. We can say a quick prayer and know that He hears us. I feel braver and less afraid when I remember that God is with me.
God’s presence is always with you, loving you, forgiving you, and saving you. This week try to take God with you wherever you go; to school, to a friend’s house, to your grandparent’s, even home. Take time to feel God’s love, forgiveness, salvation and presence. And smile, God is with you!
Blessings as you hold tight to all of God’s gifts for your life!
Just an interesting note: One more “gift” I want to talk about is one of the ten commandments. Look them up in Exodus 20:3-17. Especially pay attention to verse 12. This is the only commandment that God gives to us that has a promise, or a gift, attached. “Honor your father and mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord is giving you.” Exodus 20:12 NIV Honor your parents means to treat them with respect, to obey them and to help them. And can you see what the gift from God will be? You are so smart! Long life. I always made sure to point this one out to my children when they were little. Your parents will appreciate your honor, too!