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Spring of Life -
A Rung at a Time
I have a wonderful old leather bound book published in 1924 entitled "One
Hundred and One Famous Poems." Sitting down last evening to enjoy this
collection of classics I came upon one called, "Gradatim" by Josiah Gilbert
Holland. The very first verse caught my eye. He wrote, "Heaven is not
gained at a single bound; but we build the ladder by which we rise from the
lowly earth to the vaulted skies, and we mount to its summit round by
"Ah," I thought, "how very wrong he is." Heaven is indeed gained in a
single bound. He has confused character development with salvation. If he
is speaking of character development he is absolutely right. Godlikeness is a
daily process of small victories and set backs that require us to try again.
Indeed we do mount toward personal perfection one rung at a time.
However, salvation is not the fruit of character perfection. Salvation, heaven
and eternal life are a gift from God. Paul declares in Romans 6:23, "For the
wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our
Lord." Gifts are not earned. Gifts are presented to us by another who has
paid for them. Gifts are an expression of appreciation, or even better, of
Jesus sends us the Holy Spirit to woo us and when we yield to that love we
do indeed reach heaven with a single bound for once the gift is given it is
ours to keep.
Roger Bothwell and my address is email@example.com
or 151 Old Farm Rd. Leominster, MA 01453. Thank you for your
support of our faith ministry.
devotionals can be accessed at Archives