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Hear The Good News

 

Leap of Faith MinistriesClarksville, TN – If I gave you 10 cents as a free gift you probably wouldn’t get excited. One would probably throw it away or laugh. Then if I gave you another 10 cents you may shake your head and probably disregard the gift still at a loss trying to figure out what I’m trying to prove.

If instead of a dime, I offer you $1,000 bill, I’m sure you’d get excited right away. And if I gave you another one you will stare at me in amazement as you begin to realize just how fortunate you are. You may cry for joy and probably tell someone right way about the wonderful gift you’ve received. What good news to share with others! As long as you live, you’ll want to talk about it.

God has given us many wonderful gifts. They’re free for the asking. But we may only know them as 10 cent gifts. We don’t get excited over 10 cents. Our hearts don’t beat faster when we think of receiving a dime.

Neither do we cry tears of gratitude and joy when we think of God’s goodness. What’s wrong? Is it God’s gifts? No, we’re living in a 10 cent world.

Many church going people think of God’s gift of eternal life as a 10 cent fit. They believe they have to struggle to live good lives to keep their “free gift.” Trying hard to live a good life puts them under such a continual strain that they often wonder if trying hard to be a Christian is really worth it.

No wonder they aren’t very enthusiastic about sharing the Good News with anyone else. To them it just means going to church on Sunday, staying away from things that might be a lot of fun and giving their hard-earned cash in the offering plate.

If this is your “salvation” I see why you spend all your free evenings watching TV. And why you never think of speaking to your neighbor or to a stranger on the street about God’s wonderful love for us. As far as you know God’s gift to you is only equivalent to a dime, so why should you be interested in receiving anymore?

Dime gifts you can do without. But if you received a $1,000 gift you’d be eager for more. And you would tell everyone where they could get theirs. We all want $1,000 gifts. American’s spend millions of dollars every year hoping to win something for nothing. We have a built in desire to get for ourselves anything of real value.

God’s free gifts to us are worth more than millions of dollars. He doesn’t give them to those who meet some minimum standards of behavior. They are available to all who will accept them. Christ has already paid the price for every gift God wants to give to us. God says, “… I will destroy all plans of salvation no matter how wise they seem to be and ignore the best ideas of man, even the most brilliant of them.” (I Corinthians 1:19)

Receiving forgiveness of sin and eternal life as a free gift doesn’t fit the normal pattern of life as we know it. We’ve been conditioned to believe that we only get what we deserve or are willing to pay for. God’s plan of giving us a totally free gift seems so impossible to us that we try to attach something to His offer.

We often say “I’ll be good enough to receive His free gift if I do this or that.” Not realizing that “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourself; it is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 2:8 NKJV)

God’s Word says that no matter how hard we try, we can’t be as good as the He demands. “Through Christ, all God’s kindness has been poured out upon us underserving sinners, and now He is sending us out around the world to tell all people everywhere the great things God has done for them.” (Romans 1:5)

Paul had received some of the “thousand dollar bills” and was excited. He was determined to let the whole world know. “…I am ready to preach the gospel to you… for I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes…” (Romans 1:15, 16 NKJV)

We can’t make ourselves good enough, no matter how hard we try. No one can ever find God’s favor by being good enough. “For the more we know of God’s laws, the clearer it becomes that we aren’t obeying them.” (Romans 3:20 AMP)

Paul also wrote “Then what can we boast about doing, to earn our salvation? Nothing at all, Why? Because our acquittal is not based on our good deeds, it is based on what Christ has done and our faith.in Him. So it is that we are saved by faith in Christ and not by the good things we do.” (Romans 3:27-28 AMP)

“Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace, but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness.” (Romans 4:4, 5 NKJV)

We are made good in God’s sight. If you really believe this, would you be excited about it? Would you want to tell others how simple it is to become a Christian? Just think of it. Around you are thousands of people who actually believe that to become a Christian they have to be good enough. And they know only too well that they can never manage to become good enough.

How desperate and tragic their future must look. How they need to hear the Good News. God’s gift is free, Paul wrote, “If it is by God’s kindness (we are saved), then it’s not by our being food enough. For in that case the free gift would no longer be free; it isn’t free when it earned.” (Romans 11:6)

God wants us to share the Good News with everyone. Jesus told His disciplines to go out and tell the whole world what He had done for us. So who do you think wants to keep it a secret? Yes, there is an enemy prowling around and his favorite trick is to make us fearful of sharing the wonderful news about God’s free gift.

But if we are absolutely certain of what God has done for us, if we’ve accepted His free “$1,000 Bill” then we are going to bubble over with the Good News.

Are you still convinced that God has offered you only a 10 cent gift? Have you thought that to receive God’s blessing you have to have faith plus something. “So if you still claim that God’s blessings go to those who are good enough, then you are saying that God’s promises to those who have faith are meaningless, and faith is foolish” (Romans 4:14)

“but the fact of the matter is this, when we try to gain god’s blessings and salvation by keeping His laws we always end up under His anger, for we always fail to keep them.” (Romans 4:15)

Does that mean that God gets angry with us for trying to be good and keep His law? Of course not. He gets angry because He knows why we’re trying to keep His law? Couldn’t we just be as bad as we want, since salvation is free anyway? Now that of course is ridiculous. We should do good because we love God and want to please Him.

“Now God has shown us a different way to heaven, not by “being good enough.” But a new way (not new, the scriptures told about it a long time ago) Now God says He will accept us and declare us not guilty if we trust Jesus to take away our sins. And we all can be saved in this same way by coming to Christ, no matter who we are or what we’ve been like.” (Romans 3:21-22)

“God sent Jesus to take the punishment for our sins and to end all God’s anger against us. He used Christ’s blood and our faith as the means of saving us from His wrath.” (Romans 3:25) Both of these elements are essential. One without the other won’t do the job. Christ did the doing, but that won’t help us if we don’t respond by believing.

“He died for ours sins and rose again to make us right with God and filling us with God’s goodness.” (Romans 4:25) “Sin ruled over all and brought us to death, but now God’s kindness rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ, our Lord.” (Romans 5:21)

Created To Believe: The Power of Praise Through Practical Biblical TruthsOur choice is clearly between God’s kindness or His just judgment. We are offered the free gift of eternal life, and the alternative is plainly death.

“The only condition (for salvation) is that you fully believe the Truth, standing in it steadfast and firm, strong in the Lord, convinced of the Good News that Jesus died for you. This is wonderful news that came to each of you and is now spreading all over the world.” (Colossians 1:23)

 

Excerpt from Created To Believe: The Power of Praise Through Practical Biblical Truths written by Richard “Reason” Garrett
Copyright © 2011 Liberated Publishing Inc

 


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