Thursday, December 4, 2008

How Christ Gives

As I was reading in John 14:27, I found the phrase,"not as the world giveth, give I unto you" very interesting. How does the way Christ gives us things differ from the way the world gives things? And how do the very things themselves differ?
For the first question, I found at least part of the answer in 2 Nephi 9:50-51. Here, Jacob exhorts the people, "Come, my brethren, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters; and he that hath no money, come buy and eat; yea, come buy wine and milk without money and without price." Christ gives without taking--all He really wants us to give to Him in return for His gifts is our obedience. It doesn't matter how much money we have (which is good news for us college students!). The world will give us respect and say we're worth something when we can show how many material things we possess--the world gives us stuff when it thinks we deserve it by paying up. Christ's love is a gift we don't have to do anything to deserve, and other gifts He has to give us can be ours through faithful living, which will make us happy anyway. What do we need to have to receive blessings from God? A lifestyle that does the things that bring joy. What do we need to have to receive things from the world? Money, which can't bring joy no matter how much of it you have. Isn't it neat that our lives get better from already living the good life? God has given us the gift of the commandments because He knows that those are the things that will bring us true joy--He doesn't ask us to follow the commandments so that He can punish us but so that He can bless us. God gives us gifts that last and He gives them to us freely, if we simply live life in the way He has prescribed.
So the next time you buy some bottled water from the vending machine, feeling ripped off that you have to pay a buck fifty and knowing that you'll be back again tomorrow, remember that Christ offers us living water at no cost, and water that will last forever. Isn't God good? I certainly think so!

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