buyeth that field.
A TREASURED GIFT
Ashley turned the beautiful stone, over and over again, in her hand. "Are you giving this to me?" she whispered in awe and wonder. The thought that her father would give her such a priceless diamond was almost too much for her to comprehend.
"Yes, my daughter, I am giving you this diamond. Love it, cherish it, and always keep it in your thoughts." her father replied. Ashley embraced her father; she loved him so very much she couldn't imagine her life without his love!
A HEART OF GRATITUDE
For several months after Ashley's father gave her the diamond, she guarded it as if it were her own life. She spent hours of joy gazing upon it, and she told everyone she encountered all about her father's wondrous love.
Her heart of gratitude showed in everything she did. She was loving and kind towards others as she focused on her father's love and kindness. She was always eager to serve and praise her father because He utterly consumed her thoughts with his great love for her.
SOME GIFTS GROW OLD
I wish we could stop here and say that Ashley faithfully treasured her diamond for the rest of her life and continually lived with the same joy she had in those first few weeks. But that would not be true.
Ashley gradually became accustomed to the diamond she enjoyed so much. Although the diamond had never diminished in value, she stopped thinking about it throughout her days.
DUTY OR JOY
While she was still kind to others and told them of her father's love, she did so more from habit and duty than from gratitude and joy. Her words sounded more like hollow recitations instead of heartfelt realities.
"Ashley, may I talk with you?" her friend Eliza asked one afternoon. "Of course," Ashley replied, wondering what Eliza could want.
"The diamond your father gave you, can you describe it? And, can you tell me once more just what that diamond means to you?" "Why of course I can..." said Ashley, as she stumbled through a description that sounded strangely vague even to her.
FORGOTTEN LOVE AND JOY
Suddenly, Ashley's encounter with Eliza awakened her sleeping conscience. I need to remember to gaze upon the diamond my father gave me! I've forgotten to let it bring me love and joy.
Saddened at her folly, Ashley slowly walked upstairs and knocked on her father's study door. One look at her father's face showed Ashley that he already knew how she had neglected his treasure.
A TALK WITH HER FATHER
"Come, my dear daughter, let's look at the diamond together," he said as he gently wiped her tears. Ashley's father led her to the particular case where she kept the diamond.
Ashley broke into tears once more when she saw the diamond. She had genuinely forgotten how beautifully it glittered and glistened in the light.
Her heart felt again overwhelmed by the incredible gift her father had given her. "Oh, father, please help me never to forget!" she whispered, looking up in love and pure admiration, into her father's face.
WE HOLD IN OUR HEARTS... THE GREATEST GIFT OF ALL
Ashley's diamond held unspeakable value, as do we "who call ourselves Christians." We have in our hearts the forgiveness of our sins through Jesus Christ and
His death upon the cross.
Though nothing contains the price for this salvation, Jesus gave up much for the sake of it. "Do you remember the day, the hour, the very moment you accepted Jesus Christ into your life?" Do you remember the love and the joy that filled your heart and soul? The change that mended and restored new life to you.
HOW DO YOU GAZE UPON YOUR PRECIOUS GIFT
Like Ashley, you may have set your salvation in a case or box. You no longer gaze upon the gift you have received from our Savior. You no longer tell the story to your friends,
"how once you were dead, but now you are alive
because of Jesus Christ!"
WILL YOU STILL HOLD HIS HAND
Jesus is calling to you, my friend; He wants to take your hand and lead you back to His great love for you. He is not angry,
"He has missed your coming and spending time with Him!"
As He whispers to your heart, "Will you come?" Will you, once more, come and see what He has done for you? Will you remember the peace that He brought into your life?
If so, pray, ask Him to forgive you, and help you never forget His love for you!
"We are not guaranteed tomorrow, friend; come back
while you may!"
SONG: Gift of Love
SUNG BY: Unknown Artist