Tag Archives: grace

Unlimited Grace Available…And Not Just For Existing Customers!

Free? That’s a great deal! At least that is what CNET said about Sprint’s “Free Year of Unlimited Data!” CNET reassured their readers, “it’s not a joke;” and “there is no catch!” There is an exception though…you cannot be an existing customer.

According to CNET, the plan is to try to get new customers from Verizon. It isn’t being advertised, it isn’t available in stores, and the only way to get it is if you go online and bring your own phone to the deal.

So, assuming Sprint’s network works for you, and you have a phone you want to keep, this may just be good news for you. But existing customers get nothing more than the contract they already have. And they aren’t happy with that arrangement.

I’m reminded of a parable Jesus spoke in Matthew 20 about workers who had been hired to work in a vineyard. They agreed upon a price, and worked all day. Others, hired later in the day, worked fewer hours; some worked one hour. When it came time to pay though, everyone got the same – an entire day’s wage!

As you can imagine, the ones who worked all day weren’t happy. They thought they deserved more. The master reminded them that he had paid them their wage. He continued, “I wish to give to this last man the same as to you. Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with my own things?”

Now, I admit, there are significant differences between the parable and Sprint deal. In a free-market economy, customers may negotiate, and even choose other vendors. But perhaps there is a good reminder for us, nevertheless.

God’s grace is immeasurable. Angels rejoice when one comes to the knowledge of the truth. The reward of the gospel is for all, whether faithful for 5 decades or 5 minutes. There is no better deal than eternal salvation!

But human nature gets in the way. Some think, “I’ve been faithful longer; I should get more reward,” Let’s check our hearts to ensure that we rejoice equally with all who receive God’s grace – no matter when. And, unlike the Sprint deal, don’t keep it quiet. Let’s shout the good news from the hilltops!

Thanks For The Goodie Box!

You’re at college. After several tough nights of studying, you need some snacks. And guess what? A care package from home arrives. You open it with the joy of knowing that people are thinking about you, that you are loved, and that…you left some trash on the floor!?!?

Well, that was the surprise that Connor Cox got last week. Excited and expecting goodies in his box, Connor Cox was surprised to find trash instead. When he called his mom to ask if she had sent the wrong box, she said, “No, that’s the trash you were supposed to take out!”

Score one for moms everywhere.

You see, Connor had just gone back to college after a trip home. And his mother had told him to clean his room before he left. But Connor left without picking up cans, tissues, and other items off his floor. So his mother decided this was a “teachable moment” for her young scholar.

Of course, the box of trash was so much more than a good lesson; it was actually a message of love.

I see a frustrated mom who loves her son. She knows he needs to learn to clean up after himself. So, in an effort of love, she sent him…a box of trash. Thankfully, Connor apologized; we hope the lesson sticks.

Unfortunately, some people don’t appreciate a sermon on love when they hear one!

God loves His people so much that He is willing to send tough love sometimes. Consider Amos 4: “I gave you empty stomachs;” “I withheld the rain from you;” “I smote you with scorching wind;” “I sent a plague among you.” Now, if that isn’t love!

Confused? Think that isn’t love? But God had given them every blessing, every privilege, and they still refused to hear Him. They disobeyed. They refused to take out their spiritual trash.

So God sent the Israelites a “box of trash” to jolt them into remembering they should do better. Sadly, it doesn’t always work. But a good heart will apologize, as Connor did, learn the lesson, and try to do better.

Of course, not one of us has a clean spiritual room. We each have a trash box full of words, thoughts, and deeds. And even though we deserve far worse than a box of trash sent to our doorstep, in His grace and mercy, God forgave us and sent us the best gift ever – salvation.

So try to keep your room clean, call your mom to apologize for the messes you made, and thank your Father in Heaven for His gracious love!

“Just What I Wanted! What Is It?” (Revisited)

About 4 years ago (December, 2012) I wrote an article, “Just what I wanted! What is it?” I decided to edit and update the original, and I hope you will give it your post-Christmas consideration.

We go to my in-laws for Christmas each year. The crew usually includes 4 parents, 5 kids, a couple of dogs, and a Nana & PawPaw. We gather in the living room as the kids receive gifts, and…let’s say…“present opening frenzy?” Wrapping paper flies when 5 kids open their presents at the same time!

Of course, the kids have a great time. Sometimes they open a present and scream, “Just what I wanted!” Sometimes they need a moment to process, asking, “What is it?” And sometimes they get a gift they needed, but hadn’t requested, asking, “How did you know?”

Almost 2,000 years ago, our Father gave us the greatest gift ever – the expected Messiah. Angels announced Him (Luke 2:14); shepherds praised Him (Luke 2:20); Mary rejoiced in Him (Luke 1:46-55); and prophets proclaimed Him (John 1:29).

People such as lepers, centurions, blind men, etc., knew immediately that Jesus was the healing – ‘just what they wanted’ (Matthew 8:5, Luke 7:1-10, Mark 8:23). Others marveled – ‘what is this’ indescribable gift (2 Corinthians 9:15). Still others were impressed that God’s gift was perfect, long before they asked for it – “how did He know?” (James 1:17, Matthew 7:11).

Today, some are ready to receive, saying, “just what I wanted.” Others search to understand, asking, “what is it?” The answer is, the greatest love ever (John 3:16). Still, others wonder how God prepared a gift that meets each individual’s deepest needs – ‘how did He know?’ (Philippians 4:19, all needs are supplied in Christ).

Grace is given freely, but it wasn’t free. It cost God. Do you already know that grace is ‘just what you always wanted?’ Perhaps you don’t understand exactly what it is, but are interested. Or maybe you are in disbelief that God foreknew your needs that intimately. Whatever the case, get in touch…let’s discuss His amazing gift!

Did You Check Behind The Tree?

 So you are cleaning up after Christmas morning, wrapping paper is everywhere, and the kids have run off to play with their toys. And then, “uh oh!” As you take a look around the tree, you see it…that one unopened present! Whose is it? Who didn’t get their gift?

Well, hopefully this didn’t happen at your house! I would hate for someone to miss the joy of getting all their gifts. But did you know that there is an unopened gift sitting in houses all over the world?

And it  has an urgent message on it – “open immediately!” You see, this one is from Jesus; and it is called grace.

Did you notice? Did you receive the gift from Christ this year? Jesus freely gave, but you have to “open” your present! Grace is one gift you don’t want to lose. Don’t let it get pushed to the side in your busy life! No other gift is so important.

If you aren’t a Christian, receive Christ today and accept His free gift of grace – it will be the best gift you ever opened! Be forgiven of your sins by trusting in His gospel of salvation.

If you are a Christian, it may be that this Christmas, you got so hectic that you put Jesus second in your life, even if just for a moment. Let’s get back on track quickly. Live for Him and for His Kingdom, remembering the wonderful gift of grace.

So, check behind your tree for lost presents, but check your heart and God’s Word for the grace of Christ.