The greatest gift given to the world is the love of God

Published 5:18 am Friday, December 3, 2021

There’s a lesson in here somewhere.
An Associated Press story out of Tokyo reported that “An outing of luxury sports car enthusiasts in Japan ended in an expensive freeway pileup — smashing a stunning eight Ferraris, a Lamborghini and two Mercedes likely worth more than $1 million together. Police say they believe the accident was touched off when the driver of one of the Ferraris tried to change lanes and hit the median barrier. He spun across the freeway, and the other cars collided while trying to avoid hitting his car.
Video of the crash aired by NTV, a major national network, showed several smashed, bright red Ferraris cluttering the freeway. Police declined to comment on the total amount of damage, but said some of the vehicles were beyond repair. A driver of one of the tow trucks brought in to clear the scene was quoted as saying it was the most expensive crash site he had ever seen.”
Deep in the midst of insurance claims and bruised egos there has to be a lesson here somewhere!
It stands to reason that precious and expensive things are to be treated with the respect and honor they deserve.
The very word neglect is defined as failing to care for properly and the Bible speaks of neglect and the danger inherent when one fails to do so.
For example, “Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.”
And “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him.”
When we forget the true value of that with which we are blessed, we find ourselves in danger of not only causing damage but missing the beauty of the gift.
Neglect is not only dangerous but extremely costly as our aforementioned car owners can attest.
A story from the 1990s underscores this truth.
Chicagoans who worked in the Loop, the booming downtown business district, could easily ignore the city’s budget crisis; Washington’s cutback of aid to cities didn’t seem to hurt business.
A quarter billion gallons of murky Chicago River water gushed into a 60-mile network of turn-of-the-century freight tunnels under the Loop and brought nearly all businesses to a soggy halt.
It turned out that a top city official had known about the leak, but, acting for a cash-strapped government, had delayed repairs costing only about $50,000. The final cost of the damage could run higher than $1 billion.
More devastating than damages to a car or even a city is the damage neglect can cause a soul.
Though many could be listed at this point, allow me to mention two things we cannot afford to neglect.
The first is God’s grace! In the first letter that Paul wrote to the Christians at Corinth he says, “Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; That in everything ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge;” Grace can be defined in many ways but it’s essence suggests unmerited favor.
G.W. Knight writes, “When a person works an eight-hour day and receives a fair day’s pay for his time, that is a wage. When a person competes with an opponent and receives a trophy for his performance, that is a prize. When a person receives appropriate recognition for his long service or high achievements, that is an award. But when a person is not capable of earning a wage, can win no prize, and deserves no award – yet receives such a gift anyway – that is a good picture of God’s unmerited favor. This is what we mean when we talk about the grace of God.”
The second… may we never neglect the gift of God’s Love.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
That verse has been shared and spoken in languages around the globe with the reminder to humankind that God’s gift of his son must not be ignored nor overlooked for there is not another path to an eternity with our creator to be found other than through accepting the free gift of salvation through Faith in Jesus Christ.
When Jesus was born in a manger in Bethlehem of Judah, those living in Israel probably thought taxation was the big news of the day.
But a young Jewish woman cradled the biggest news of all — the birth of the Savior.
Some events, whether birthdays in Bethlehem or the spiritual birth in a person’s life, may not create much of an earthly news flash, but in Heaven its front-page material!
Let’s be careful and not neglect the true reason for the season, and by all means, let’s not overlook the gift!

Tim Throckmorton is the national director of Family Resource Council’s Community Impact Teams.