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The Free Gift

By Pastor Stacy Williams
web posted May 6, 2009
RELIGION – When I was a kid, I used to read a ton of comic books. I had a few favorites like Batman and Sad Sack, but I basically read whatever I had. Comic books were always full of ads. Most of the time, the ads wanted you to send money for some cool toy or other items that you couldn’t find in stores.

I loved nothing more than to order these things that were advertised. The 4-6 week wait for it to arrive by mail was excruciating. I remember running to the mailbox each day to see if the item had come. I ordered such things as Charles Atlas’ bodybuilding course, Sea Monkeys, and science kits. (If you don’t know what Sea Monkeys are, you are probably too young to have seen the ads. Just Google “Sea Monkeys” and you’ll find out. For those of you who have no idea what to “Google” something means, you are old enough to remember the Sea Monkeys.)

I used to love playing with Matchbox and Hot Wheels cars, so when I saw the ad for 120 cars for $1, I sent my money in right away. As I waited for my package to arrive, I dreamed of how much fun I would have with that many cars! The day finally arrived. I tore open the package and found 120 plastic cars with plastic wheels that would not roll. I was devastated. That was my first lesson in not believing everything you see in the world of advertising.

One day last week, I noticed a coupon that my secretary had with her. It caught my attention because it said in bold letters, “OUR PERFECT GIFT TO YOU!” I asked to see it to read more. The name of the store was printed in much smaller print below the headline. At the bottom there was the word, “FREE”, also in bold print. Then below that, in much smaller print, were these words, “Signature collection item of your choice”. This was followed by very small print that read, “With any pre-assembled gift set purchase.”

So, let me get this straight. You’re going to give me a free gift! How great! Oh…you mean I have to buy something in order to get the free gift? Yep. It’s right there in the small print.

A gift that you have to do something to get may be a gift, but it isn’t free. I understand the whole gift with purchase idea. I used to buy after shave as a gift for my grandfather and would usually get an umbrella or something. We used to give away items at the bank when people opened accounts. However, we never said it was free. There is simply no such thing as a free gift that has requirements to it.

I am thankful that we have received the free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. There is not a thing we have to do to earn it. Good deeds cannot earn it, coming to church cannot earn it. All the goods of the world cannot buy it.

When Simon the Sorcerer offered to give Peter money, for the ability to lay hands on the sick to heal them, Peter was indignant. He replied, “May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God. Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord. Perhaps he will forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin." (Acts 8:20-23 NIV)

You cannot buy this wonderful gift that God has given us. You do not have to wait on it, as I did those packages I ordered as a kid. You will not be disappointed in its power and blessings. It is freely available to all who hear God’s voice.

If you would like to know more about this wonderful gift that God has so graciously given us, please feel free to contact me or any Christian friend. Any of us will be thrilled to talk with you about it.

And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely. (Revelation 22:17)

All are welcome join us for worship at Edgefield First Baptist Sunday mornings at 11 AM. For more information call us at 803-637-6139 or visit our website where you will find weekly activities, church information, or even listen to sermons online. Our web address is www.edgefieldfirstbaptist.org


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