Take One (Romans 8:32)

It was Halloween in our neighborhood and I was chaperoning my son and several of his friends as we made the anticipated rounds. Knowing which houses gave the best treats, we first targeted those houses. As we approached one of our favorites, we were surprised to see a table with a large bag of candy positioned next to a sign that read, “Sorry we missed you! Take one.” The kids crowded around the bag and took their candy, some obviously taking advantage of the situation. One of my son’s friends was called out by his mother.

 

“Jake! What did the sign say?”

 

Jake grinned, his candy bag overflowing with his latest haul. “Take…some.”

 

“Put back all the extra ones. Let the other kids have some.”

 

“Mom!” Jake’s mother smiled at me and shook her head. “That’s why we have to be here!”

 

I chuckled and wondered if I would have acted the same way? When the local supermarket or bakery offers samples, I frequently sneak off with more than a single tasting. It is completely harmless, right? Perhaps. I would certainly know when to draw a line at these seemingly insignificant offers and offers that were of greater consequences, wouldn’t I? I would learn the truth when I was in college.

 

Before I became a Christian, I was involved in a religious cult that focused upon meditation as a means to rid oneself of the desires and cares of the world. Meditate, chant, and at some point, enlightenment and salvation would be mine. It was a simple equation. The more I meditate, the closer it would bring me to my goal. I accepted this offer of salvation and took advantage of the situation, meditating during every free moment I could spare.

 

But even when I was immersed in this religion, God was tugging at my heart. He introduced me to a Christian brother in my freshman year of college who encouraged me to read the Bible. While many ideas were familiar, I struggled with God’s promise of salvation. Why would God grant me salvation and eternal life when all I needed to do was confess and repent of my sins and accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior? Didn’t I need to meditate? Didn’t I need to need to chant my mantra? How could it be so simple? It was almost like I was taking advantage of a cosmic situation, getting salvation for minimal effort. I thought I was getting the better end of the deal.

 

He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?

Romans 8:32 (ESV)

 

God’s offer of salvation and eternal life does seem too good to be true. Why would God send His only Son, Jesus Christ, to live and die on behalf of my sins? In spite of what the world proclaims, nothing we do by our own efforts will ever bridge the gap between man and God that sin has ruptured. No amount of meditation, chanting, or good works will get me closer to salvation. God must intervene but why would He do this?

 

Love.

 

God’s perfect love sought to restore His relationship with us. It is not taking advantage. It is sharing in a relationship that is too good to be true.

 

Thanks be to God that it is!

 

Take One…Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

 

Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.

 

 

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