The gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! Nor can the gift of God be compared with the result of one man’s sin: the judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who received God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ! Romans 5:15-17
Everything that was lost in the fall was redeemed in Christ, and as such, it has been given back to us as a gift.
In our last devotion we looked at the four spheres of relationship in which we were created, and we were amazed at the beauty of each. Unfortunately, we know from Genesis 3 that when sin entered the world it brought brokenness to all four spheres. We must not take this lightly. The level of brokenness ushered in by sin was absolutely devastating to God’s beautiful creation. There was not one thing that God created that was not tarnished, twisted and distorted by the fall.
For me, this sets the cross of Christ in an even more amazing light. Not only did Christ come to redeem our relationship with God, but he bought back for us our relationship with ourselves, our neighbor and creation itself. Paul’s words in Romans makes this clear, and I love the emphasis on that triumphant term, how much more! Paul’s point here is to make sure we understand that even though sin brought incredible devastation across all spheres of relationship, the cross of Christ blew that sin out of the water. It not only brought restoration of what was lost, but it even more overwhelmed sin, death and destruction, ushering in the kingdom of God and pointing us toward an amazing eternity.
Now we face the moment of decision. If everything God created for us was lost in the fall, and if it was all bought back for us with the precious blood of Jesus, then we must confess that the entirety of our life – every relationship at every sphere of every moment of our existence – is an incredible gift. And if all of life is a gift, then we can only respond by living as stewards. That one word more defines us than any other word in Scripture. We are not owners, we are grateful stewards who have been given the most amazing gift in the history of the world.
How does your life today reflect your understanding that all of life is a gift? How will your life today reflect your gratitude for this gift and your call to be a faithful steward of all of life?
We learn from childhood to say ‘thank you’ when we are given a gift. Practice that courtesy with God today remembering that everything we experience in every sphere of life is a gift from Him. Spend your day thanking him for your relationship with him, with your self, with your neighbor and with his creation. Fill your day with praise and thanksgiving, honoring the Giver of all things.
Gracious and loving heavenly Father, thank you, thank you for everything in my life. I forget that it is all yours. Forgive me for pretending that I am the owner and acting like I am in control. All of that just brings me pain and stress and distances me from you. I renounce my claim of ownership of everything in my life. With great joy I proclaim that everything is yours! Thank you for drawing me close to you through the blood of your Son, Jesus. Thank you for giving me my identity as your child and my vocation as a citizen of your kingdom. Thank you for my neighbors and the opportunity to love and serve them. Thank you for this amazing creation and the high honor of nurturing it and caring for it. And thank you for not only being the Creator and Owner of all things, but also for being the lavishly generous and loving Giver of all I need, every day and for eternity! I love you! In Jesus’ name, Amen.