Very Often, the Greatest Things in Life are Free
When I was a kid, I loved getting things for free. Obviously, I did not have a
source of income at that age, and although my parents were very generous, it didn’t
mean that I could have anything I wanted, so I resorted to looking through catalogues
(there was no Internet at the time, of course) to see what was available for free. I even
sent away for a booklet, titled, “1001 Things for Free.”
Usually, I would send away for some sort of mini-toy or trinket. It would take
weeks and weeks to arrive by mail (unlike today’s overnight delivery), but that only
heightened my excitement and anticipation. When the item finally arrived, I would rip
open the package and let the brown wrapping paper fall to the floor.
As I grew older, I would beg my parents to take me to Pittsburgh Pirates games
(my hometown team) when they were giving something away. Whether it was a ball, a
bat, a hat, a shirt, or a bobblehead, I would do everything I could to get one. I still have
a few of those items to this very day, more than 50 years later. Even though the item
was free, it had great value and meaning to me.
All of this raises a provocative question: If something is free, does it have value,
or is it worthless because it came at no cost? I guess it depends on the item and how
much it means to you.
Jesus’ death on the cross came at an enormous price, but there was absolutely
no cost to any of us. It was freely given and we have freely received it, but given the
magnitude of His sacrifice and the incredible payoff — salvation — why is it that so
many people fail to see its value? Why is it that so many people not only fail to accept it,
but many outright reject it? Is it because it came to us at no charge?
That’s a difficult question for us to answer because we have become so deeply
ingrained in the faith. We understand, accept, and embrace Jesus’ death on the cross
and resurrection from the grave as the only way to eternal life.
In Scripture, Jesus says, “I am the way and the truth and the life, no one comes
to the Father, except through me.” He could not have stated it any more clearly or
emphatically, yet many still do not believe or accept it.
What can we do to persuade people to at least listen to these Holy Words? I
believe the process should begin with prayer — not once, not twice, but continual prayer
that the heart of the nonbeliever will be softened. Then we need to summon the courage
to share our faith with the nonbeliever, but as we do that, let us be sure that our actions
mirror our words. What that means is we need to show that we are disciples even
before we say we are.
It is then that others may see the genuineness of what we say because it will be
undergirded by the integrity of what we do. As we enjoy these summer months, let us
be reminded that our faith never takes a vacation. Share your testimony, love your
neighbor, plant a seed, and invite God to take it from there.
Until We Meet Again, Be Blessed! – Pastor John