It was ready. Long before I toyed with agnosticism at age 10. Long before I ever chose my adult value system and methodical reasoning as substitutes for seeking, exploring and following singularly triune Truth.
Long before I was lovingly anticipated or lovingly welcomed into the world, and long before I had ever disappointed, hurt or angered anyone, the gift was already ready.
And long before I had a name, my name was already on it.
It was my salvation, prepared long before I entered the world. My salvation came with redemption, justification and sanctification.
Salvation meant I would be freed from ties to sin; I would not be sin's servant. Redemption meant sin would not own me because of my debts, my transgressions, because those were now paid off and forgiven. The wages of sin – death – would be replaced by an inheritance, as a new child of God. And my value, set by God treasuring me, could not be reduced.
Justification meant that long before God's enduring law had defined what I lacked, God was ready to share his holiness with me. Sanctification meant that sharing God's holiness would immediately and ultimately redefine me.
All these riches, gifted to me in Jesus' name, were prepared long before I ever existed. Long before I knew my need, and long before I was ready to receive them.
All these riches are labeled by multisyllabic words. They only begin to define God in the human mind. When all is said and done, we must know for ourselves that God is love. And that He loves passionately and compassionately – long before we ever choose to love Him.
If you have yet to receive them, receive them today. By faith, turn from sin and all its shortages to receive your God, the giver of every good and perfect gift.
If you received these gifts long ago, invest them today. Recall that they were never meant to nestle back in tissue paper, and that the lid will not set back in place. Because these gifts were never meant for storage out of sight, out of mind.
Our actions and words will reflect God's ways, while presenting a reminder that God's ways are not our own – or they will be unproductive, bearing little fruit. We can choose day by day to invest and be further enriched by our gifts, or let distraction and discouragement stash them aside.
You are part of your Father's business. You – and those you either pass or do business with – are your Father's business. When you were commissioned to the work of sharing Jesus and His gospel with the world, you became His empowered hands and feet in the world. With each day, your face continues to take on resemblance to Him, and so you represent Him where you go.
Receive God's immeasurable gifts. Invest them to His glory.