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“Not for Words Alone!” Ephesians 2: 8-10 Key verse(s): 8a: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God . . . ”



Did you ever receive a gift, a gift so unexpected and so exciting that you just couldn’t contain the level of your enthusiasm and joy? Perhaps it even left you speechless? Many Christmases ago I decided to build my son a barn in which he could put all of his tractor and farm implement toys that he had collected over his young life. It was to be a barn unlike any barn I or he had ever seen. I wanted it to be detailed right down to the grooved floor and the pulleys on the beams. It was to be large enough to be scale for the 1/18 scale tractors and implements that were to be placed in it. I constructed it in three sections, a ground floor, drive-in, and loft. It took months to build as well as great secrecy to conceal it from him. Finally, Christmas Eve came and the barn was placed in Dan’s room. We guided him down the hallway and ushered him into his room. When he saw the barn with all of his tractors and implements in place he literally exploded in excitement. He ran around the barn touching it, examining every detail. Words tumbled out but there were no sentences; simply exclamations of excitement and joy. As the night wore on and Danny finally began to calm down a bit, his little four-year-old heart began to displace some of that enthusiasm with thankfulness. He couldn’t thank me enough and felt that he just had to do something to merit such a valuable gift. I asked him to pick up the Christmas wrappings and he did so with gusto. Over the course of that holiday, little Danny became a slave to his gratitude and willingly volunteered to do many a grateful errand for his Dad and Mom. He had reached a level of gratitude where something just had to give, so he did.

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