Free For the Taking

You are saved by God’s grace because of your faith. This salvation is God’s gift. It’s not something you possessed. It’s not something you did that you can be proud of (Ephesians 2:8-9, Common English Bible).

I love Reverend Fun cartoons. They are always so really spot on with their theology but at the same time, they do it with humor. I try to check in on Reverend Fun whenever I can because I usually walk away with both a good laugh and something to think about all rolled up in a quick, easy to read comic that again, is very thought-provoking.

When I was looking for a picture to use with today’s verse, I ran across this one. It was done more than 10 years ago, but most of Reverend Fun’s cartoons are timeless. This still points to the great truth that Jesus is God’s gift to the world and that evil will try to convince all of us that such is not the case.

But, when we believe, when we start to study the Scriptures, we come to realize the importance of grace. We begin to know that it isn’t about us. I ran across another cartoon while I was searching. Take a look at this one.

For so many of us, at least in the beginning, we think we can get right with God by the things we do, by living right, by showing up at church not only for worship but for work. We are going to justify our salvation by working hard. Working hard may make your boss happy. I know I am always happy with a hard working subordinate. It will not, however, make your God happy, at least no if your works are an attempt to buy your way in. You can’t earn it.

You can’t earn it, but you do have to believe it. Jesus told Nicodemus, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son that whoever believes in him will not perish but will have eternal life” (John 3:16, Keith’s Paraphrased Version). That belief is faith and because of your faith, God gives you grace.

That guy on the left has no chance. You can work yourself to death. Without faith, it will get you nowhere. But when you believe, when you have faith, you have gotten God’s attention.

Because of your faith, faith in Jesus Christ (or as the devil in the Reverend Fun cartoon put it, “God’s gift to the world”), God gives you the free gift of grace.

But, get this, you didn’t really do anything for your faith except taking another free gift from God. Paul lists the gift of faith as one of the “Gifts of the Spirit” in 1 Corinthians 12. That means nothing comes from us.

To use an analogy, here is how it works. Let’s say I have a $100 bill. I come up to you and offer you the money. You are skeptical of my motivations but I tell you it is a free gift from me to you. You did nothing to earn the money. What is left for you is, to accept or reject the gift I offer to you.

The same thing applies to the gifts of faith and grace. God offers them to us. It is up to us to decide if we will accept these gifts from God.

Take the gift. God really wants to give it to you. Plus, no matter what you do, you will never earn it. So take the gift and then thank God for giving you something so special.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

With Joy and Thankfulness,
Keith

Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Published by drjkbroyles

I love Mike Ashcraft's book, "My One Word." For the past nine years I have participated and encouraged others to participate to in the "My One Word" Challenge. My first word was discipline was my word the first year. Since then my word has been focus, sight, jungle, peace, concentration, serve, genuine and this year is fit. I seek to be fit for my health, my family, my church, my ministries. I seek to be fit in any are of my life where God might point to me. I also have a nickname, "Dr. B." When I was a public high school teacher, Dr. B. is what most of my students called me, at least in my presence. I am still called that by many people though I no longer teach in public schools. I am the author of "Average Joe: With an Extraordinary Story" (available on Amazon). The book fits into the genre of "Biblical Fiction" or "Christian Fiction" and features some of the Bible's lesser known characters. The name of my blog is, "Fork in the Road." Life is filled with forks in the road. It isn't a matter of if we encounter a fork in the road, but when will we and how many will we experience in a lifetime. I love to strum my guitar. I am not a great guitar player but I enjoy it. I also enjoy writing music. I get excited with I feel a new song emerging. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog, "Bishop" in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 30 years as a United Methodist pastor, serving churches all over east and southeast Texas, from just north of Tyler to south of Houston, from the Gulf Coast to east of Madisonville. I currently serve Perritte Memorial UMC in Nacogdoches. I spent one year in the classroom, teaching High School government, economics, psychology, and sociology. Cindy and I have been married for 43 years. We have two grown sons and six grandchildren, three boys and three girls. I enjoy preaching and all it's aspects from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading. I have dabble in drawing and "painting" with pastels as well as woodworking and woodcarving. My current projects are two ukuleles. I collect, repair and restore guitars too. I play the guitar (badly, but I still do) I also enjoy working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. This blog started out as devotional writings. In August of 2020, I made a major change to the blog, switching to a daily theme format. Sunday Sermon-usually my manuscript sermon Miscellaneous Monday-misc. writing, poetry, ministry Tuesday Thoughts-Devotion Wed. with Wesleys-hist. & theol. of early Methodists TED Talk Thursday-Video & appl. in current theology Five for Friday-5 things I've seen & my thoughts Sing-Along Sat. - Usually a new song I have written I write, "Strumming a G-Chord with Dr.B." to get my thoughts onto something permanent. After all, they say, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. Seeking the Genuine, Keith Lufkin, Texas August 2020

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