“My wife and I had lunch over at Carole’s Cafe the other day,” Stan commented one morning, “and I was able to witness the cross in action.”
“The cross in action? What do you mean?”
“While we were waiting for our lunch,” Stan replied, “a young man came in and ordered a couple of sandwiches to go, but when he tried to pay for them, his credit card didn’t work.”
“Didn’t work in what way?” I asked.
“I’m not sure,” Stan replied. “All I know is that Carole told the young man that his card was refused by whoever issued it.”
“The young man didn’t have enough cash to pay for the sandwiches. He apologized to Carole and began to leave. That’s when it happened.”
“My dear wife demonstrated the cross. She got up, went over to Carole and the young man, got out her purse and paid for the sandwiches. Not only for the sandwiches, but she asked the young man if he would like anything else, like chips and a drink. He accepted her offer.”
“Wow!” I said. “That was really nice of your wife.”
“That’s who she is!” Stan replied. “She lives a life that is the cross in action.”
“Just what do you mean by that?” I asked.
“This young man ordered a couple of sandwiches. He incurred a debt, but he didn’t have anything with which to pay that debt. My wife stepped in and paid a debt that wasn’t hers. Just like the cross of Christ.”
Continuing, Stan added, “God doesn’t forgive us because He loves us and He’s nice. No, His forgiveness comes only because of what Jesus did on the cross.”
“Jesus, who was sinless, became sin and paid the whole sin debt of everyone who accepts God’s free and gracious gift of salvation and redemption. It’s free to everyone who accepts it, but it cost a great deal. Someone had to pay, and Jesus was the ‘Someone’.”
“Just like the young man.” Stan continued. “He had nothing with which to pay for his lunch, but there was a debt that someone had to pay. My wife offered to pay and he accepted her gift.”
“So,” I said, “the choice is to go hungry or to accept the gift, is that the point?”
“You got it, my friend,” Stan replied. “Accept it and not be hungry in the sense of not being separated from God for eternity, as well as being filled with all that He has for us on this side of eternity before then.”
Bible verses to consider:
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16.
And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent. John 17:3.
He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Corinthians 5:21.
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for the free and gracious gift of your Son who went to the cross to become sin in obedience to your will. Thank you that He paid the debt I could never pay. Thank you for those who brought me the truth that your gift through Jesus is available to be accepted. Because of that gift, I have the assurance of spending eternity in your presence when it’s time. Before then, I have the gift of being able to pursue the eternal life of knowing you and Jesus. For these gifts I am eternally thankful. Please help me in following every step of your lead in helping others know and accept your free gifts. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: God’s free and gracious gift of salvation and redemption is available only by your acceptance, not by anything you can do to earn it. Do you agree with that? Why or why not? Have you accepted that gift so you have the assurance of salvation? If no, why? What is holding you back? If you do have the assurance of salvation, how are you doing with living a life that is “the cross in action”? As well as you would like? As well as God would like? If you sense the need for some changes in your life, how are those changes going to happen? Are there people in your life who need to know about God’s gifts? Are you going to tell them?