Volume: 902 March 27, 2023
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Christopher eyed the video game one more time. The young, potential customer glanced at the counter salesman before he dug into his jean pockets. He was determined to buy that game. Imaginative visions of flying through space on his video game’s starship encouraged him to search his pockets even deeper.
He wrestled out of its denim prison one wiggling frog, which he pridefully placed on the store’s counter top. “Will you take this frog, and,” he then dug his dirty hand into another pocket and extruded three, long red licorice twists, and placed them next to the ribbeting amphibian, “and these three pieces of candy?”
“Young man,” the grimacing clerk answered, “We cannot take your frog or your candy. The price of that game is $29.95. You need that amount to walk out of here with the game.”
A persistent hand dove into a jacket pocket and produced a baseball mitt. “Well, this glove is one of the best you can buy. It is worth far more than $29.95. Won’t you take the glove for that game?”
The clerk shook his head.
“How’s about the glove, candy, the frog, and,” and out of his seemingly endless supply of pockets produced one more item and banged it on the countertop, “this packet of baseball cards? It’s got to be worth something.”
“Young man, I appreciate your effort; but the only payment acceptable is $29.95 in American currency. That is the only payment we recognize here.”
The boy wandered away, returning all his valuables to their denim storage facility. “It just ain’t right,” the boy muttered as he left the store, “It seems to me that my stuff is worth more than that lousy $29.95.”
Many think similarly about salvation. God says the only payment acceptable for anyone’s sins is the blood of His only Son, Jesus. Man still tries to pay his way to Heaven with his “currency.”
Many try to pay for entrance into Heaven with their good works, performing “religious” rites, and following church rules. “Surely,” they think, “if my good deeds outweigh the bad things I have done, God will like what I have done and let me in.”
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6
Our charitable donations, helping others, religious acts, sacrificial efforts, and good works may be good, but they will earn no one a ticket to Heaven. Those deeds are the frogs, candy, and baseball cards God will not accept as payment into Heaven. The only way anyone will get to Heaven is by receiving the price that Christ paid with His blood for our iniquities.
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9
A man rose in a meeting to testify to God’s saving grace. He told how the Lord had won his heart and given deliverance from the guilt and power of sin. The man spoke of Christ and His work but said nothing of his efforts.
The leader of the meeting was of a legalistic mindset. When the man’s testimony was ended, he added, “Our brother has only told us of the Lord’s part in his salvation. When I was converted, there was a whole lot I had to do myself before I could expect the Lord to do anything for me. Brother, didn’t you do your part first before God did His?”
The other man was on his feet instantly and replied, “Yes, sir. I clear done forgot. I didn’t tell you ‘bout my part, did I? Well, I did my part for over thirty years, runnin’ away from God as fast as my sins could carry me. That was my part. An’ God took aftah me till He run me down. That was His part.”
“There are either of two things we must do. One is to send back the message to Heaven that we don’t want the blood of Christ to cleanse us of our sin, or else accept it.” — D. L. Moody
Whosoever and Whatsoever
Two precious words are often used in the mouth of Christ: whosoever and whatsoever.
“… And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” Rev. 22:17
“And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” John 14:13
“Whosoever” is outside the gate and lets in all who choose. “Whatsoever” is on the inside and gives those who enter the free range of all the region and treasury of grace. “Whosoever” makes salvation free. “Whatsoever” makes it full.
“What we mean by salvation is this: deliverance from the love of sin, rescue from the habit of sin, and to be set free from the desire to sin.” — Spurgeon
In a hospital ward, a lady missionary found an undersized and undeveloped little Irish boy whose pale, wizened face and emaciated form burdened her heart for the child. She spoke of his soul’s need, and he was made aware of his lost condition, insomuch that he seriously considered how he might be saved.
Brought up a Catholic, he thought and spoke of penance, confessionals, sacraments, and the church, yet never mentioned Christ Jesus and His atoning work. The two talked about what the Scriptures said, but he made no decision at the time for salvation.
The following day the lady called upon him again and found his face aglow with a new found joy. Inquiring the reason, he replied with an assurance born of faith in the revealed Word of God, “O miss, I always knew that Jesus was necessary, but I never knew till yesterday that He was enough!”
“Human nature’s way of salvation is, ‘Do, do, do.’ God’s way of salvation is, ‘Done, done, it is all done.’ You have but to rely by faith on the atonement that Christ accomplished on the cross.” — Spurgeon
Colonel Teddy Roosevelt commanded a rough-rider regiment in Cuba during the Spanish War. He became much attached to his men and was concerned when several got sick.
Hearing that Miss Clara Barton (the lady who devoted herself to nursing the wounded soldiers) had received a shipment of medicines and food for the invalids under her care, Colonel Roosevelt requested her to sell a portion of them to him for the sick men of his regiment.
His request was refused. The Colonel was very troubled. He cared for his men and was willing to pay for the supplies out of his pocket.
“How can I get these things?” he asked. “I must have proper food for my sick men.”
“Just ask for them, Colonel.”
“Oh,” said Roosevelt, his face breaking into a smile, “that’s the way, is it? Then I ask for them.” He got the supplies at once.
Have you asked the Lord Jesus to save you from the wages of your sins?
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Rom. 6:23
Men will never find salvation until they give up all efforts to save themselves. Someone asked a man how he got converted. To answer the question, he built a fire in a circle around a worm. After the worm had crawled around in every direction, it lay down to die. The man then reached over the flames, took the worm out, and put it in a safe place. “That is how we all get saved,” replied the man. “God does the saving.”
“Exposure to the Son prevents burning.”