Do you ever get amazed at the “strings” attached to everything?
The “Introductory Offer”
The “Get One Free” temptation
The dream to “Have it All”
Just the other day I was speaking to my Internet provider about their high costs and a competitor who was offering faster speeds and lower costs. Wow – I had them now! The response came back that they had an offer that would one-up the competitor. …I’d be stupid not to try that one…how soon can I get that? Wow, that really sounds good!
A technician had to verify the equipment I had and possibly upgrade some of it. Was Thursday morning or afternoon better for me to have the technician to stop by? I suppose I could wait two days, but I’d have to cancel some plans to fit into the Thursday afternoon slot between 1pm and 4pm. “Sure I’ll answer your BRIEF questionnaire about my sales representative”. Give her five stars, after all she solved my problem in record time! I was really excited to tell my wife about this deal I uncovered – she just snickered!
Thursday came and went. Where was the technician? That evening I called in to the support line just to make sure the technician had not come down with Covid or been in a terrible accident just prior to coming to my house. “Can I put you on hold while I check this out for you?” Sure! Following that “hold” scenario a few times and oodles of apologies I informed the young lady I was pretty fed up and I really wanted an answer or I had to go. After thirty-five minutes of frustration, I HUNG UP. At least the cost went down even if the speed did not pick up, YET. I left my research on the matter for another day when I had a bit more energy and time.
The day came when I would do my advanced research into the matter. The prompts seemed quicker that day and I actually ended up with a young lady who spoke clearly, had reasonable responses, and appeared to have me on the path to successfully resolve the matter.
I was an educated consumer so I had already unplugged everything in the house, shut off the breakers, locked the house, and waited at least a minute or two for everything in the world to “reset”…except for my equipment that is.
Oh good, she got a more technical-technician on the line. The computer I had purchased year and a half ago was the problem… It could not handle those blazing speeds I longed for.
Just to be sure, we’ll need to have a technician stop by your house to check out the equipment! Again? At least it was tomorrow – between 1pm and 4pm. She told me they had my number (of course they did) and would call when they were on the way. Lo and behold, at noon a call came in. The technician finished early and could come right away if that worked for me. “Come On Down” I responded. Now I’d get to the bottom of the issue. The technician quickly assessed my problem – the little box hooked to the big box in my living room needed to be replaced with another box. You’ll never get high speeds without that! We can do that for FREE. Wow, FREE? Nothing is FREE these days – maybe the $788.40 I had paid them over the past year enabled me to get something for FREE. Oh and the box on the outside of your building is old and outdated and needs to be replaced with a new unit – I’ll install that inside your garage. Wow! I thought, the Internet is going to FLY with all that new equipment.
Once he had connected the Internet directly to our house, he showed me (on his hand-held unit) that my speeds actually exceeded what I had requested. Wow. I couldn’t wait to see how my computers and tablets would respond. Unfulfilled expectations might be the best way to describe my frustration. My laptop could only get to half of what his hand-held unit was cranking out. He was pleasant enough to inform me that if I plugged into the unit directly, I’d get much better speeds…oh and I need to stop using an app or two on my laptop because they SLOW things down. Well, at least I have the better price I thought to myself.
If that wasn’t frustrating enough, I found out the “deal” they had given me was a two-month promotional. So the better pricing I expected was destined to vaporize quickly…BUT a new customer support number was given to me and in two months I could call in to see what NEW and IMPROVED promotions were available.
A story addendum: a few days ago I was outside washing my car when my neighbor came by. He told me that his Internet provider was terrible – (that was the one with good prices and better speeds that I planned on going to). Oh No! How can that be? I’m stuck with low speeds, high costs, and little to no competition. So much for unfulfilled expectations. And, when you think about it, when the power goes out you have NOTHING. Boy, I hope the enemy doesn’t find out about that. They wouldn’t have to shoot me, they could just turn off my power and I’d be lost with no one to talk to and my mindless entertainment would end abruptly.
All that drama leads me to speak about someone named Jesus Christ who does not change, who is always there, and provides all that you need in a clear and simple way. No “special offers” or promotions, no technicians. Just you and Him, and His offer lasts for both time and eternity. No cost involved. No bait and switch on how to procure what He offers. The offer relies entirely on Him – for you it is a FREE gift to beat all FREE GIFTS. Care to hear more? Keep reading.
There is only one way and that is great! No confusing choices. No money involved. No church membership. No walking aisles! Just you and the offer from Jesus Christ. In the privacy of where you are at this very moment (sitting, standing, driving, swimming – you get the point) a decision can be made to accept the FREE offer Jesus makes to you.
Faith – trust – belief describes the FREE offer. Every day we exercise our faith and trust. We believe that when we leave the driveway no one will slam into us. We trust others will stop at STOP signs and RED lights. That doesn’t always happen, but we believe it should happen. When we accept God’s offer, believe in what He has said, it will happen.
Here is the fine print.
All of us (every human being on planet earth) has violated God’s perfect standards. From the Bible comes the following statement.
Romans 3:23 all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
Every man – woman – child has violated God’s perfect standards. Sin is the term the Bible uses to explain this. I’m sure you’ll agree with God’s assessment about that, especially when dealing with other drivers on the road or people who can’t count correctly using the express aisle at your local market. Ok, so we are all imperfect, nothing new there you might say…let the Bible continue.
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Wages are what we expect – or are promised – in exchange for the work we have performed. The Bible says the wages – payment we deserve – from sin (violating God’s perfect standards) is death. Wow, pretty harsh. Time to understand all that DEATH means. Two significant forms of death are real. 1) Death in the physical sense – when (not if) the soul leaves the body (separation) and the body ceases to function. PLUNK, down you go, never to rise again. 2) Death in the spiritual sense – YOU separated from God and the offer He has made to you – the FREE offer of eternal life, an offer that must be accepted while still alive.
- In Death 1 – we are separated from both body and God’s FREE offer. Doomed forever. The Bible explains the destination for this death is Hell.
- In Death 2 – By accepting the FREE gift of eternal life, separation of soul and body will still occur at some point in time, but your destination after physical death will now be Heaven. A place God has for those who have received His free gift of salvation. Simple right?
Imagine being in court, facing a death sentence. No attorney could free you from your death sentence, it has been passed and there is nothing you can do. Even your appeal renders the same judgment. The facts are clear – death sentence is the ruling, and it is certain, but then, a SUBSTITUTE steps forward and explains to the court that they will take YOUR death sentence in return for you to go free. Would you take that offer? You would be crazy not to.
John 3:16 says it this way – “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life”.
This week we face Easter. The time of year when we pause to think of Jesus Christ being crucified on the cross – a story from the Bible. Think about this – when Jesus Christ was hanging on that cross, He had YOU in mind. Your sins and mine were judged on Him – the substitute we spoke about in the court case. The price was PAID in full but the gift must be accepted. Imagine having a winning lottery ticket worth millions, but if you never cash it in, the value is zero. The value, to you, of what Christ did on the cross is ETERNAL but only if accepted.
Consider the latter half of the previous verse, “…whoever (MAYBE YOU) believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” By faith – trust – belief – call it what suits you, you receive the gift of Jesus Christ being a substitute for YOU on the cross. You will pass from death (at the moment of your physical death) to eternal life. Quite the offer!
I know what you are thinking – “I’m not a religious person”. Do you know what RELIGION is? Religion is man’s efforts to gain God’s approval (from good deeds). Religious people, quite frankly, stink. The Bible said that, not me…
Isaiah 64:6 says, all of us have become like one who is unclean, And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment… In other words, all the things we consider good – in God’s eyes, are not so good. God only accepts the GOOD that His Son did on the cross.
Titus 3:5 “He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy…” His mercy (or grace) was demonstrated by Christ going to the cross to provide salvation for all who would accept the FREE GIFT.
In the Roman Empire, if you were a jailor in charge of criminals and they managed to escape you were killed! Brutal. The option was to kill yourself. Wow, quite the choice. That story is real. Check out the story for yourself –
Acts 16:25-31 But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them; 26 and suddenly there came a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison house were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were unfastened. 27 When the jailer awoke and saw the prison doors opened, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. 28 But Paul cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here!” 29 And he called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas, 30 and after he brought them out, he said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”
The story is simple – the jailor was scared (like many today) of death, uncertain of what was next. The response was simple (FREE). Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you WILL BE SAVED.
You may have thought about death, when you will face it, and what will it be like, and what will be next. Perhaps you have had thoughts of guilt or wrong that you have done. We all face that at times, nothing new there. Good chance that was God trying to nudge you in the right direction. What is that direction? Believe – trust – accept what Jesus Christ did on the cross FOR YOU. Personally!
No bait and switch, no “recently changed prompts,” no unfulfilled expectations – unless you turn down the offer. It is a FREE GIFT – No Strings Attached. Forever. In the quiet of your heart you can speak to God – tell Him what is on your mind (He knows already anyway), tell Him you’d like to take advantage of His free offer. Quite frankly, you have NOTHING TO LOSE and EVERYTHING TO GAIN.