By Cougan Collins


An African boy listened carefully as his teacher explained why Christians were such giving people. The teacher said, Jesus taught us that giving gifts is an expression of our love and friendship for Him and each other. Jesus said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive' (Acts 20:35).


A couple of days later the boy brought the teacher a seashell of lustrous beauty. Where did you ever find such a beautiful shell? the teacher asked. The youth told her that there was only one spot where such extraordinary shells could be found. When he named the place, a certain bay several miles away, the teacher was speechless. She knew that it would have taken the young man hours to walk to the bay. Also, he would have faced many dangers from the jungle and rocky cliffs of the seacoast along the way. Why, it's gorgeous and wonderful, but you shouldn't have gone all that way to get the gift for me, the teacher joyfully exclaimed.


His eyes brightening, the boy answered, Long walk part of gift. (Story adopted from Preaching Vol. 23, No. 3, p. 88, 2007).


This story brings to mind the long walk that was part of God's gift to mankind. 1 Peter 1:20-21 states that Jesus was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.


Christ's long walk began in the mind of God before the foundation of the world and was proclaimed by the prophets of the Old Testament. He then voyaged from heaven to earth to born of a virgin, and He grew up to show people the way of heaven. He walked upon the earth and then went to a shameful cross to pay humanity's debt of sin, journeyed from the cross to the tomb, was resurrected on the third day, and finally completed the journey by returning to heaven.


Hebrews 4:15-16 reminds that we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.


And we may ask, Why all this trouble, God? And God would say to us, The long walk was part of the gift. We invite you to worship and study with us to learn more about first century Christianity – Adapted from Mark T. Tonkery