The older I get, the more I believe that what most people regard as God’s gifts are not really God’s gifts at all. So, I am offering my thoughts as to what I consider God’s 7 greatest gifts:
Gift one: Being allowed to experience how readily one says and does awful things to others to their hurt as well as bring reproach to the name of his God. Having received this gift, the reality of man’s deep depravity ceases to be an intellectual concept and becomes a knowing that puts one inside the “family of the fallen”.
Gift two: Being allowed to identify with fallen humanity causes one to gain a deep and profound realization of his need for the kind of forgiveness and redemption only Christ is capable of providing. This becomes a cellular need whose satisfaction is the only reality that gives one a reason to live, a hope, and a future.
Gift three: Being allowed to know without question that one is completely forgiven, truly accepted in the Beloved; adopted as a child of the Creator of all things; deeply loved and cherished—all because of the Sacrifice offered, and accepted.
Gift four: Becoming willing to reject judging one’s fellow man because one sees himself in all men. When men show contempt for one another, it is because they have not yet received Gift #1.
Gift five: Being allowed to experience a growing respect for every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. The “practical man” scoffs at the seeming impracticality of wrestling with God’s word to find a way to do what He says. The one who has received this Gift is determined to treat every word as precious, practical and relevant for any situation man faces today.
Gift six: Being allowed to pray, “Father, hallowed be Your name,” and find oneself longing for Christ to be so formed in him that he, himself, becomes the first answer to his own prayer. And, when he prays, “Your kingdom come and your will be done on earth…” he longs to be the first one in whom others see God’s kingdom and will expressed on earth.
Gift seven: Finding oneself having a decreasing interest in anything this world has to offer or even in the fulfillment of one’s own desires; instead, having a deep desire to go anywhere Jesus wants to go and to do anything Jesus wants to do since the life of Christ can now be poured out through the broken vessel of the person who has received God’s 7 Greatest Gifts.