I love gifts and free stuff. I was at the rugby league in Brisbane yesterday, and I was disappointed not to find someone handing out free stuff. On the other hand, I get really excited to see people giving out free samples at the supermarket. I have never actually bought the product that they are selling, but I appreciate the free sample. What a good time.
Why do I (and probably everyone on earth) enjoy free stuff so much? There is a tonne of things attached to that answer, but the biggest thing is that someone else has done the work for you, and all you have to do is walk up and accept the gift that someone else has prepared for you, which comes at no cost to you. It’s good and wholesome and it’s yours to receive.
Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” You see, our very salvation is a free gift from God. It’s like the free stuff you get in the supermarket. Someone else has done the work for you and is handing it to you for free on a platter. You don’t have to work for your salvation; you can’t!
When we accept God’s salvation for us, we are acknowledging what Jesus did for us when he died on the cross and then rose from death. The Godhead has done the work for us. Imagine how full of pride we could get if were able to work for our salvation?
It would be wrong of me not to point out the key differences between God and the free supermarket handing out person.
God will always be there. The supermarket person won’t.
God is not a one-time-encounter guy. The supermarket person is. Once you choose to accept God’s free gift and follow Him, you and God get to walk together in life, and you get to live by the power of the Holy Spirit. You are wrapped in God’s love - how could you want out of that deal?
God’s gift is eternal. The supermarket person’s isn't.
Accepting God’s gift can cost us. The supermarket person’s gift probably won’t (unless it is very spicy food). Being a Christian can come with its costs. I’ve recently been reading a biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and his idea of cheap grace vs costly grace, but I might save that one for next time.
Anyway, whether you identify as a Christian or not, you should choose to follow God. It’s the best thing you will ever do, and in my opinion, the most important choice you can make.