Saturday, August 30, 2014
Last night I saw a commercial on TV for eyeglasses. They referred to an acronym - BOGO - which stands for By One, Get One . . . free. Is that second pair of glasses REALLY free? Or is the cost of the second pair built-in to the cost of the first pair? Only your eye glass specialist really knows for sure. This past week I was reminded of a few things in this life that ARE free. I'll give you and example. Maybe two. Or three!
I have a friend named Cheri. She is an advocate for Compassion International. Compassion provides food and education for impoverished children throughout the world. They do so as they spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Cheri and I promised each other we would get together for lunch after Lifest and share "God stories" as we call them. Stories of when we have seen God working in the world around us. My God stories usually make an appearance in this blog but I hadn't heard hers and I was anxious to hear them.
So we went out to lunch this past week. We ordered our food and began trading stories. Cheri had some amazing stories of children being sponsored and of an uncle coming to a saving faith in Christ late in life. I shared stories of kids being touched by God's merciful hand, another one about a gay couple I know. God provided an opportunity to speak into each of their lives in a loving and caring way. They were all amazing stories of an amazing, loving God.
We were having a wonderful time - encouraging each other with every tale. I really like to hear other people's testimony and encouraging stories. And guess what . . . they're free!
Finally, I checked the time and found that an hour had passed! Yikes!!
"I have GOT to get back to work," I told my friend. The only thing was we had yet to receive our food!
We flagged down our waitress. She apologized massively. They were incredibly busy that day. She boxed up our food for us and said, "Just take it. It's on the house." In other words . . . it's free. Hmm, free stories and free food. I like!
My friend and I spent an entire lunch hour, and THEN some, glorifying God with our stories about Him. It was another one of those amazing conversations, like the one I told you earlier this week about Susan. And what did God do? He fed us. In more ways than one. God is such an amazing provider!
There is one more free gift I should tell you about before I close. That is the free gift of salvation for all those who place their faith in Jesus. He offers that to anyone - young, old, rich, poor, atheists, Muslims, men, women, black, white, red, brown, purple. Everybody!! And it is absolutely free . . . to accept.
It is true that sometimes our faith can cause us to pay a price. It might be someone picking on us for our faith. It might mean being persecuted for our beliefs by our government. It could even mean being martyred because we refuse to renounce our faith in Christ. But the gift itself is always free.
Have you accepted God's free gift of amazing grace? You should. I can't promise you that you will get a free lunch out of it. But I can tell you that the benefits are out of this world . . heavenly . . . and they come with an unlimited warranty - that of eternal life. Please, place your faith and trust in Christ today. Who knows what tomorrow might bring. But be prepared to be blessed - not necessarily in earthly ways but in ways that are from God and are therefore priceless.
And if you do accept that gift, get ready to shout for joy, because you are truly free indeed.
"8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." - Ephesians 2:8-10
I Am Free - Newsboys