BOGO or FREE?
If your local car dealership advertised a weekend sale that boasted a 'buy one, get one of equal value free' deal, how many folks would you think actually would look the other way on that deal? For the most part, if the deal was genuine, there would be a line down the block awaiting such a 'deal'. We almost always go after things that are 'freebies' in this life, don't we? I scour the local grocer ads hoping they will do those BOGO deals - it helps to keep my pantry stocked. There are some things I pass up because they don't 'apply' to my life - like men's deodorant or shaving cream. I don't have any need for those things in my life, but if it was coffee creamer, heads of lettuce, or even an extra loaf of bread, I'd be adding those things to my shopping list for sure. If we have 'need' of something, and it is offered for free, why on earth would we pass it up? It makes no sense when there is a need and a totally free way to have that need met fully!
God’s readiness to give and forgive is now public. Salvation’s available for everyone! We’re being shown how to turn our backs on a godless, indulgent life, and how to take on a God-filled, God-honoring life. This new life is starting right now, and is whetting our appetites for the glorious day when our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, appears. He offered himself as a sacrifice to free us from a dark, rebellious life into this good, pure life, making us a people he can be proud of, energetic in goodness. (Titus 2:11-12)
God's forgiveness is unconditionally FREE. It isn't one of those BOGO offers where you have to buy one before you get something for free. His gift of salvation is FREE - because Jesus already paid the price for our hearts to be set right and our lives begin anew. Yet, so many realize they have a 'need' in their lives, but simply turn their back on the forgiveness they so desperately need and desire. Why? They think it will 'cost too much' to serve a generous and gracious God. It will cost them their 'freedom' to do what they want - the same 'freedom' that makes them feel guilty and shameful at times. It will cost them their 'freedom' to make their own choices - the same choices that land them in pickles galore and feeling like there is no way out anytime too soon. Gotta ask...how is it some value their perceived freedom more than what could be their ACTUAL freedom?
God is 'ready' and 'willing' to extend grace in the form of total (complete, unending, continual) forgiveness. Not as a buy-one-get-one-free deal, but as a 'pay nothing - get everything' deal. We say a loud 'yes' to his goodness and graciousness and the freedom begins. At first, our appetites are veracious for this grace - we can't get enough of it and we want as much of it as we can get right now. In time, it is like we walk in the 'rhythm of grace', sensing it, taking it in, relishing it, knowing the depth of its work in our lives. What began as a ravenous hunger becomes a consistent 'contentment'. I think that pretty much describes real 'freedom', my friends. We don't buy grace and get more of it. We receive grace and just keep on receiving it! Just sayin!