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Posted by Lisa Lewis Koster - - 0 comments

This season marked a milestone for my husband Bob.  He had his first-ever "Black Friday" shopping experience!  And no, we did not camp out.  We did, however, get up early and get in line at 5:15 a.m., waiting for the store  to open at 6:00.

Actually, Bob got in line.  I don't do lines.  Instead, I went to the nearby grocery store and bought supplies for the next day's baking marathon.  This is possible only when you follow my shopping strategy - go where everyone else is not (i.e. stay away from the mall!)

What motivated Bob to go to the store that morning (and if you know Bob you know that it had to be some pretty strong motivation) was the hope of a new computer at half the going rate.  Our desktop was over ten years old which, I'm told, in the world of technology is considered ancient.

I returned from getting groceries to find a happy husband.  Bob had managed to get the last ticket for the computer he wanted - and there were only three in the store! (See what I mean about no one being there?)

While he was focused on a computer, I was focused on somthing else.  One word, actually - FREE!  If it's free, count me in!  If I can't use it, I'm sure I know someone who can.

The free items offered that day were actually very practical - mainly batteries and computer labels - but they came with a catch:  I had to pay for them at the store and then claim the rebate. 

You see, showing up at the store isn't enough.

Just giving them money isn't enough.

Simply believing the rebate exists isn't enough. 

If I don't personally go through the process of claiming the rebate, I won't receive the promised reward of my money back. 

We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us.  We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God.  God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God. ~ 2 Corinthians 5:20-21

The same is true for salvation.  Yes, it is a free gift given to us by God, but those who don't go through the process of claiming it as their own won't receive the promised reward of an eternity with God in heaven. 

You see, merely showing up at church isn't enough.  (Ask yourself, "Am I standing on the promises or sitting on the premises?")

Just dropping your money in the collection plate isn't enough.

Simply believing God exists isn't enough.  The demons believe that and they will be spending eternity apart from God in hell.  James 2:19, Matthew 25:41

Yes, Scripture says, "If you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved" ~ Acts 10:9 but "believe" doesn't merely mean you agree that the statement is true. 

Believing requires action.

        Are you living like everything Scripture says is true? 
        Do you read the Bible on a regular basis so you know what Scripture says?

Believing requires trust.

        Do you trust in God's leading even when it doesn't make sense to you?
        Do you spend time seeking God's direction?

Jesus, thank you for paying the penalty for my sins so that I may spend eternity with you.  Lord reveal to me when I am just going through the motions so that I can live with a vibrant faith that points others to You!


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