“We had dinner at the Good Fortune Chinese Restaurant again last night,” Stan said.
“One of my favorites.” I replied. “How was it?”
“Food was wonderful, service was great, and the fortune cookie tasted just fine,” Stan responded, “but the fortune in the cookie was wrong.”
“Wrong?” I responded. “How could the fortune in a cookie be wrong?”
“Bad information and bad advice,” Stan said.
“What was so wrong with the fortune you got in your cookie?”
“This is what it said,” Stan replied, ‘Everything you desire must be earned’.”
“Oh,” I said, “I see what you mean. Certainly bad information and advice for spending eternity with God when it’s time.”
“And,” Stan said, “I’m really glad the fortune is wrong! I hate to think how much work would be involved in trying to earn my way into God’s eternal presence.”
Continuing, he added, “Since it is impossible to earn God’s favor on my own, trying to do so would be a lot of work for nothing.”
“But,” I replied, “aren’t some people who desire to be in God’s eternal presence trying to earn that?”
“They are,” Stan said, ‘because they don’t know that salvation is God’s free and gracious gift that has to be accepted for what it is, free.”
Continuing, he added, “For whatever reason, they are blinded to the truth of free and gracious salvation and are locked in the bondage of trying to earn what they desire. It can’t be earned, but they keep trying.”
“How can such people be released from that bondage?” I asked.
“By knowing and accepting the truth of what Jesus accomplished through His life, death, and resurrection. And, before you ask how that will happen, I will say it will happen if those who know the truth are committed to sharing that truth with those who don’t know.”
Jesus therefore was saying to those Jews who had believed in Him, “If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.” John 8:31, 32.
When Jesus therefore had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head, and gave up His spirit. John 19:30.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for your free and gracious gift of salvation through the finished work of Jesus on the cross. Thank you I can look forward to spending eternity with you when it’s time because I have accepted your free gift. Thank you I do not have to try to work my way to heaven. I pray for all of those people who want to be in your eternal presence when it is time, but they think they have to work their way to heaven. I pray for each one of those people to be freed by the truth of free salvation. You made that knowledge available to me. Please help me in following every step of your lead so I help others know the truth that will set them free. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Have you accepted the free and gracious gift of eternal salvation. If not, why? Do you know you cannot work your way to heaven? Do you know that you have to accept salvation as a free gift or not have it? Do you know people who are in the bondage of thinking they can work their way to heaven and are trying very hard to do that? If you have been freed by the truth, are you doing all you can to help others be free as well? If not, why? What would it look like for you to be doing that? Can you see yourself in that role? Why or why not?