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Friday, December 11, 2015

The Gift Card (How the Gospel Is Like a Gift Card)

So this Christmas I received, as I’m sure many of you have, a few gift cards. Whether they are big or small most people get some for the holidays. One of the cards I received this year was from Sherry’s Grandma (she’s become my Grandma too). It was a Starbucks card and Sherry and I thoroughly enjoyed using it on our day off together.

I guess what I like about gift cards is that they are a means for me to receive something valuable for free. But when you think about it, it’s not really free – someone had to pay for it. In this instance it was our Grandma but it made me think of another instance.

I’ve known a few people who just can’t wrap their mind around the Gospel of Jesus – basically because it’s something offered for free. And not just anything – but the very eternal salvation of our souls. Eternal salvation not just to live the way we do now but to live in Heaven with our Creator and the One who loves us. Our Maker has made a way back to Himself!

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9.

But things that are free often raise the suspicion of many. If it’s so good – why is it free? Isn’t anything worth having worth working hard for?  So whether it’s a lack of trust, pride or just a lifetime of being used to having to work hard for everything little thing you’ve received – many people struggle with this idea of a  “free” gift of salvation. 

However here is where salvation is like a gift card. It may be free to you – but it’s not free. Freedom itself is not free and it never has been. Oh, God knows it’s not free – just like the gift card someone had to pay for it. And Jesus paid dearly for it on the cross! God’s Son was the “Giver” of this gift card so to speak. He paid a debt that we could not pay no matter how much money we had or how hard we worked or how good we were. He paid the debt of sin which made the way for the “gift” of eternal salvation.  

So what’s our part of the deal? 

1) Well similar to the gift card at Christmas we first must receive and accept it from the giver. It’s our choice to do so. 

2) And we certainly don’t try to pay for it as this would greatly insult the giver and miss the point.

3) We also trust the person who gave it to us. We trust them that it has value and that it will actually pay for the cup of coffee or the iTunes song (or whatever it might be). 

4) Finally, we need to redeem it. Go to the store, cash it in – enjoy the gift.  Merry Christmas!

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