Today was Fathers day. Out of love for my wonderful dad I blended ice together to create a sort of quasi-snow, packed it all together and placed some pepsis snugly into the center. Growing up in the household my Father and I have exploited the rare occasions of snowfall by packing cans of pepsi in the bank and enjoying them extra cold.
When my father had seen what I had done, he laughed and offered a semi-decline," I cannot son. This is great, but I'm already full up from beverages at dinner. Give me half."
"What Father? Will you slight my gift? I insist you drink it whole!". He laughed and we enjoyed cold pepsis out on the deck.
As we were drinking, the force of God's gift of salvation hit me; the very quality of salvation as gift. God has offered me eternal reconciliation through a covenant of love in Christ; offered it in love and apart from what I have done. The greatest part of this gift is its essence; salvation is not something secular, exterior to the being of God. Salvation [i]is God[/i] Himself, God in Christ, God the Spirit offered to us to live in love with the Tri-une relationship. We are caught up into the divine, invited to the communion of the Lord who governs the universe. This all offered to wicked man, by grace. Am I slighting His gift? Am I willing to grab at some, and not the whole? Am I hurting God by grabbing what is desirable from salvation, from Christ but leaving the discomfiting parts of suffering and obedience? To take only a part of the gift is the slight of all slights; and it is also impossible to do. God cannot be divided into portions lesser then Himself and distributed at the volition and taste of the reciever. Either you recieve God in full or you don't. Either you recieve Christ in full or you reject Him, "For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ." (Collosians 1:9)
To accept God's gift of life truly, also means to accept God's gift of death, truly, simultaneously and inseperably. To accept the cross of Christ means to bear the cross of Christ. To partake in His life completely means partaking in His death completely. We cannot have resurrection without crucifixion. We cannot live to God without dying to self. Living eternally to God means dying eternally to self. And the grandeur of the offer is its pouring out again and again on the reciever. Daily we die, daily we are raised to life. The greater the shame, the greater the glory. Is it not absolutely lovely and beautiful that God's revelation is paradoxical? Does that not shame all our wisdom and pride? Our reason and rationality?
Let us eagerly recieve the fullness of God's gift, because as is repeated again and again in Ephesians one this is to His glory. This pleases Him. A Father is pleased when His son merely recieves the gift, even if the gratitude mustered is not perfect. Our enjoyment of the gift is the Fathers greatest pleasure. Let us learn to enjoy the fullness of what God has given us; Himself.
Do not despair. Whatever is in you that ought not to be there, that discourages you and seems impossible to obliterate, is there for the purchase at the cross.