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By Pastor Stacy Williams
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
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