礼物

Presents are made for the pleasure of who gives them, not for the merits of who receives them.”

[The Shadow of the Wind | Carlos Ruiz Zafon]

Good book. A lot of strange stuff going on and moments where I wanted to smack the main character in the head but good book. Good plot, even better writing. I couldn’t put it down unless I had to; I’d recommend reading it. It had a lot of phrases that would strike me dumb and I’d reread them over and over again. This one resonated with me so deeply that I stopped to snap a picture of the quote.

Doesn’t it sound like the Gospel? Presents are made for the pleasure of who gives them, not for the merits of who receives them.

We didn’t get the gift of salvation because we deserved it; what merit do we have to offer God for the price of our salvation? Are we worth the life of Jesus? (I guess God thinks so, right? Doesn’t that amaze you?)

But, what did we do to deserve Jesus? Absolutely nothing.

So why did we get it? Why did God choose to give eternal life to us? Because it pleased Him to do so. It simply pleased Him to do so. It has nothing to do with the receiver; it has all to do with the Giver.

What amazing grace, seriously. It boggles my mind.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ…For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will – to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.

[Ephesians 1:3-6]

I’m slowly developing my own spiritual foundations and beliefs; yes, I do believe in predestination. It says it right here in Ephesians.

Also, it gives no room for us to argue that we had any part in our own salvation; [To the praise of his glorious grace] It means before the world was even born, He already thought of me, loved me, and chose to save me [in accordance with his pleasure and will]

[spolier alert: if you eventually want to read the book you might want to skip this part although in my defense, it is a tad bit predictable and you can kind of see this coming but I rest my case. It’s only a tiny part of the story, not essential but do whatever you please]

Daniel, the main character, has had his eyes set on a pen allegedly owned by the famous Victor Hugo. It was the same pen that penned Les Miserables and Daniel in his youth aspired to be a writer. His father asked for the price of the pen; a price stupendously too high for his rather humble income as a bookseller to afford. As Daniel grew up, he stopped asking his father for the pen. As Daniel grew, he also made questionable choices and got himself into quite an amount of pickles. His father’s disappointment in him grew; their relationship became more and more distant. Whereas before, it had been desperately close, as both relied on each other for comfort after the early death of Daniel’s mother, now it was cold and sharp as Daniel grew farther apart from his father as he pursued his obsession with a woman ten years his senior.

On Daniel’s 16th birthday, his father offers him a wrapped gift. Circumstances arise that cause Daniel to leave before opening it and become pummeled to a pulp. On coming home, dripping wet and bruised to the bone, his father barely comments on his appearance before asking his son to open the gift. Daniel, rather ashamed at what had previously transpired, tells his father to return it and that he didn’t deserve a present. The father replies with words of grace that completely floor me.

[Presents are made for the pleasure of who gives them, not the merits of who receives them]

You can probably venture a guess on what the present was.

Can you imagine how much Daniel’s father spent on that pen? What a tank it made in his life savings? Perhaps he spent all of it on that one pen.

Do you realize that God bankrupt heaven for us? Jesus is in the center of heaven, Jesus is who everyone praised and worshipped, Jesus is God’s only son, one holy and righteous and so pleasing to His father. God looks at Jesus and adores Him.

God paid a devastating price to save us. He gave up His only son for us. He bankrupt heaven for us. Does that not make you feel so, so loved?

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