Friday, September 27, 2013

Free for the Asking by Martin Wiles

He stood behind the pulpit holding a single bill, begging someone to come forward and take it.

Growing up as a preacher’s son, I attended many evangelistic meetings and revivals and witnessed the maneuvers of numerous speakers. One common tactic often occurred during the invitation when the speaker would hold the infamous dollar bill and encourage someone…anyone, to come forward and seize it—no strings attached. Usually some brave child would finally run down the aisle and grab the money from the speaker’s hand…often at the prodding of a mother or father.

The point, of course, was to illustrate that salvation was a gift just like the money. Simon the sorcerer failed to understand this. He was a new first-century believer who thought he could buy the same kind of power God had given the apostles. When Simon saw that the Spirit was given when the apostles laid their hands on people, he offered them money to buy this power (Acts 8:18 NLT)

Peter informed Simon that this power—and also the salvation he had recently received, was free. A relationship with Jesus Christ can’t be bought or worked for. Since the work pay combination is so familiar, it’s easy to carry that philosophy over into my relationship with God. The dollar bill offered by the evangelist was free for the taking, and that’s the same way I must accept the forgiveness God offers in Christ.

Neither is salvation hereditary. If it was, I’d be in good shape since most of my family— for generations, have been Christians. But what they had in Christ only benefits me when I accept what they had the same way they did. My relationship with Jesus must be personal.

Do you know the one who gave his life so your sins can be forgiven?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, we recognize our sins separate us from You. Thank You for providing the forgiveness we need and for making it free for the asking.

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