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Salvation is a gift from the Lord
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In just a matter of days, the malls and shopping centers will be filled to capacity with shoppers looking for the bargains that will change their lives.
Friday and Saturday coming will be the two biggest shopping days of the year. Designated as “Black Friday,” the day after Thanksgiving is so-called because many businesses “go in the black,” or make a profit because of this one day.
As I always say: I plan to sit the day out. Too many times over the few years, I have found myself in the midst of those crowds. What can I say? I do love my wife, and the fact that I have ventured into any store on this day is full proof of that.
But I have a plan for this year. I have volunteered to paint the hallway and living room in our home Friday and Saturday. That may just work. I might be allowed to stay home if I will do that.
But think about it. I have volunteered to paint! That involves the moving of furniture, taping off windows and doors and covering the carpet. Have I lost my mind? I mean, talk about being willing to do anything. For fun, maybe I can go to the dentist the next week.
In all seriousness, my wife and I bargain like this from time to time. Our life and love are not built on such negotiations, but we compromise with each other. I go to the show with her; she goes to the ball game with me. Or we go to her favorite restaurant one time and mine the next (It doesn’t hurt that I like all of the ones she likes, too).
We do this kind of thing at work, too. Or we may make bargains with a neighbor or friend or another family member. But the fact is that our lives are built on doing something for someone in exchange for something else.
In fact, that describes your work. You put in so many hours, get a job done and you are paid for your work. Whether in a factory, an office or your own business, that is how it works.
And that is how many people want to work things out with God. “God,” they might say, “I will do such-and-such for you if you will do such-and-such for me.”
Some people expect to go to heaven because of some actions they have performed. But the Bible says God does not work that way. There is no price we can pay, nothing we can do, to earn heaven. It is a gift given to us by God simply as we trust in him.
This concept is offensive to some. They have always worked and earned their keep, and they want to do so with God. But it does not “work” that way. Salvation is a gift from the Lord, and he offers it freely. You must simply accept it. Will you take his gift?

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