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The Greatest Gift of Love

 This year we will be celebrating 10 years of marriage. Ten years of ups and photo-1420574448342-c9a81a7ac5eedowns, growing up together, and growing closer to each other. Ten years of memories, inside jokes, new things, hard things, selling things, moving away, moving home, job changes, arguments, encouragements, master’s degrees, empty rooms, unfulfilled dreams, and more. Yet, it seems like 10 years is a little surreal since sometimes it feels like just a moment ago we stood at the altar. I can remember planning for our wedding day like it was yesterday.  My engagement to Santino was one of the greatest times of my life. Planning the wedding, picking the place for our ceremony, going to showers, getting gifts, planning the honeymoon, updating the registry, showing people the ring, telling people about “my fiancé” . . . all of these things were so exciting for this young bride!

 

The highlight of marriage was not the gifts we would receive, the perfect details of our wedding day, or even the destination of the honeymoon; it was the person I got to marry.

 

I can remember driving in the car staring at my engagement ring just thinking how wonderful it all was. The idea of getting gifts like our very own dishes and new pots and pans was so exciting. I loved imagining walking down the aisle in between pews of people that I loved and cared about, friends and family that were near and far. Dreaming of our honeymoon and making our new apartment a home filled me with such joy!

And while those blessings and gifts were indeed great, they were not the highlight of it all. The highlight of marriage was not the gifts we would receive, the perfect details of our wedding day, or even the destination of the honeymoon; it was the person I got to marry. The best part was that I would get to spend the rest of my life with my husband. Every day, being with him, talking with him, laughing with him, growing in my love for him. The best part  was him  and knowing that I chose to spend the rest of my life on earth with the man who chose me!!

So it is with God and eternity. He provides us with much here on earth and in heaven. Blessing upon blessing. Gift after gift. Grace upon grace. He gives us things on earth, as well as the hope of reuniting with loved ones in eternity. We look forward to the destination we’ll reside for all of eternity and our new home in heaven.

 

The whole point of Heaven is not where we get to spend eternity, or what we’ll receive, but WHO we spend it with.

 

John Piper says if you can picture Heaven full of blessings, streets of gold, reuniting with loved ones, etc. without Jesus, then you’ve missed the point. The whole point of Heaven is not where we get to spend eternity, or what we’ll receive, but WHO we spend it with. In his book God is the Gospel, he says, “The gospel of Christ proclaims the news that he has purchased by his death ten-thousand blessings for his bride. But none of these gifts will lead to final joy if they have not first led to God. And not one gospel blessing will be enjoyed by anyone for whom the gospel’s greatest gift was not the Lord himself.”

When planning our wedding, what I delighted in most was who I got to marry. The rest was additional blessing, but not the best part. So it is with the Gospel. The best part of God’s love is that we get to be in His presence, forever. We are reunited with our Heavenly Father, His grace is lavished upon us, and we get to spend eternity with the One who died so that we might live.

The greatest gift is to get to be with the Giver of every good and perfect gift. The One who bestows grace. The Father. The Son. The Spirit.  The LORD our God.

 

The greatest gift is to get to be with the Giver of every good and perfect gift.

 

This truly is the greatest love. Immanuel, God with us. We get to live freely and abundantly now and forever because of Jesus and His great love for us. The Cross is our greatest blessing on earth, as it is in heaven. The greatest gift of the Christian life is not in material blessings, peaceful circumstances, safety or comfort, or even freedom from trials and pain. The greatest gift is God Himself, being in His presence, free, and filled with joy.

“Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights . . .” (James 1:17)

“For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace.” (John 1:16)

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Image Credit:  Simon Hattinga Verschure, Unsplash


Melissa Danisi

About

Melissa Danisi is the Co-Founder of Self Talk the Gospel and serves at The Well Community Church, encouraging and equipping women by teaching God’s word and shepherding leaders. Her greatest passion is to see women walk in the freedom of the Gospel and grow in their love of Jesus through the study of Scripture, which led to writing bible studies on Ephesians, Philippians, Sermon on the Mount, Spiritual Disciplines, and most recently Genesis. She recently received her Master’s Degree in “Pastoral Care to Women” from Western Seminary and has been married to her very Italian husband since 2006.


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