A Chinese legend tells of some cultured gentlemen who often met to exchange wisdom and drink tea. Each host tried to impress the guests with the finest and most costly teas. When it came time for the most esteemed and respected one of the group to entertain, he served what appeared to be a truly exquisite tea. He showcased a small golden box. Glistening in the light, the host opened the lid and carefully measured out the tealeaves. After drinking the tea, the guests praised the host for this most exceptional tea. The host smiled and said, “The tea you have found so delightful is the same tea our peasants drink. I hope it will be a reminder to all that the good things in life are not necessarily the rarest or the most costly.”
What a great reminder! Truly all of the greatest parts of this life are free, because the greatest parts are the ones that come from God. Take Romans 6:23 for example, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Consider Ephesians 1:6-8 as well, “to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us…”
The eternal life, grace, redemption, and forgiveness God offers us doesn’t cost us a dime. These gifts aren’t even rare since they are offered to everyone on earth. We don’t have to scour to the ends of the earth to find these incredible blessings. We don’t have to complete some impossible task. God freely gives them.
What does make these gifts rare, however, is the fact that so many in this life reject them (Acts 4:11-12). It seems the Lord’s precious gifts have the opposite effect as in the story above. The Lord’s box isn’t flashy and expensive looking. Instead it appears simple and meek (i.e. Christ), yet it contains the greatest parts of this life. Many do not see the tremendous value found in Christ and His gifts. What a tragedy this is.
Let’s remember how little we had to pay for God’s incredible gifts to us. Let’s accept these gifts through obedience to God (Acts 2:38; 1 Peter 3:21). Above all, let’s praise the Lord for giving us far beyond what we deserve (Romans 6:23).