I collect Vinylmations. For most reading this, the immediate question is, “What’s a Vinylmation?” They are vinyl collectables made and sold by Disney. They almost always have the same shape (of Mickey Mouse) and most commonly are 3″ in height. Each vinyl is painted differently to look like a different character, Disney ride, park, or movie. By my last count, I had just over one hundred.
My kids picked up on the vinyl thing and always like looking at “daddy’s Mickeys.” They each acquired their own small collection from my extras or gifts from their aunts.
On my birthday last year, my son brought me a pudgy envelope, neatly decorated with marker and stickers. Inside was a vinylmation of Tigger from Winnie the Pooh. It ended up being my favorite gift.
I love it when my kids lead me to Christ. It always happens in a different way. This time, it was the reminder of God’s gift of salvation through a sacrificial gift, given in love to me by my son. You see, Tigger came from one of the very few vinyls in his own collection. He knew how much I enjoy collecting vinyls. Because he did not have the means to purchase a new one for me, he chose to give up one that he cared about so that I would have a special gift.
The gift and the actions of the giver, reminded me of my greatest gift – the gift of salvation from God the Father through His son, Jesus Christ.
“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” – Mother Teresa
I did not deserve my gift. Granted, I’ve raised my son, fed him, clothed him, and quite possibly even bought the vinyl to begin with – I still did nothing to deserve a gift from him. Just the same, I was reminded I do not deserve redemption – I deserve death. I am filled with sin, and as scripture says, my deeds are “nothing but filthy rags.” Worse yet, while I am weak, ungodly, and an enemy – God sent His son who would give His life for mine.
6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.
Romans 5:6 (ESV)
10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.
Romans 5:10 (ESV)
22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.
Romans 3:22-24 (ESV)
The gift was given at a cost. At the time, he was six years old and his collection may have contained eight pieces and he didn’t have any money to buy more. There was a sacrifice in giving up something that was special to him and could not be replaced. His sacrifice reminded me of the sacrifices of both the Father and Son – that the Father would give His son and the Son would give His life.
32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?
Romans 8:32 (ESV)
5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
Philippians 2:5-8 (ESV)
Lastly, it was given with love. What possibly got him past the “Dad doesn’t really deserve this” and “I’m having to give up one of my own” is that he loves me. How much more must the Father love us, that He would give such an undeserving gift. For “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 (ESV)
16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
John 3:16-17 (ESV)
9 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
1 John 4:9-10 (ESV)
While my son’s gift came in a small envelope and was material, God’s gift came with His son and is eternal. “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” Romans 6:23 (ESV). What is amazing is the gift is available to all, without cost – we must simply believe and confess.
9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. 11 For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. 13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”