What kind of free gift is THAT?
Last Sunday, September 1st was Father’s Day in Australia. I returned home at 12.45 PM after a special time of worship with my church family. I had just a few minutes to check emails before I served our Father’s day lunch. Only one email come tumbling in into my inbox though, in solitary splendour – and no, it wasn’t the email I expected either. It was instead a commercial email. From ‘Lumosity’. Lumosity offered me a free gift. A free gift? I pricked up my ears. Against my better judgement, I checked the email.
Happy Father's Day!
Make this year one to remember: take 30% off a
It was a waste of time really. A free gift? Hardly. Lumosity is a brain training program and one I’m using presently to keep my brain cells ticking along nicely. I’m trying out its ‘trial’ package. It’s good. I enjoy it. But I shook my head that day when I saw the deal on offer. There was a 30% discount offered for the whole family. A discount doesn’t mean it’s free does it? Just that you pay less. And so - you DON’T get it for FREE. Why call it a free gift? It wasn’t free!
This modern world offers us many supposedly free commodities. The word FREE is used very successfully by the commercial market – simply because most of us are foolishly think we get something for nothing and assume we will benefit by it. But of course free deals often have something attached, don’t they? “Buy one and get one free” is a popular gimmick. Free? Hardly. You first need to spend your money.
When we were new in Australia, a reputed brand of vacuum cleaner offered a free carpet clean. I fell for it, hook line and sinker. My wise husband didn’t, but went along with my enthusiasm, warning me I’d regret it. He was right of course. A few days later the salesman arrived, vacuum cleaner in hand. He set to work and cleaned a small section of our bedroom carpet. I’d assumed we could get on with our work while he got on with his.
Not so. He asked us to watch him. He gave us a long, tedious lecture on the use of this amazing vacuum cleaner. He extolled its benefits. He enthusiastically presented all the different additions that could be used to do any kind of house cleaning. He thought he was impressing this home maker - me. He wasn’t. All I could read in that demonstration was the word ‘WORK’. Unfortunately for him, cleaning and I don’t get on. ‘Cleaning’ for me is a dirty word!
So all his swooning and his exuberant deliveries only added to my distaste. ‘More work? No thank you’ was what I thought to myself while smiling politely through the ordeal. After enduring 1 ½ hours of it, he asked me to write 10 names of friends who would get a free carpet clean cum demonstration from him. Now – 13 years on, I am older and wiser. But at the time, I thought I had no choice.
I felt I was betraying my friends but didn’t know how to get out of it. A free carpet clean? A very expensive and distasteful one, actually. It cost us a lot of time and embarrassment. Is there something called a free lunch? I doubt it. Someone has to pay – if not in cash – then in a different way.
But wait a minute. I know where there IS something free. Absolutely – totally – wholly – fantastically FREE. I can vouch for it. You see – there was this time – when someone shared with me about a free gift that was available to anyone who wanted it. All we had to do was ask. I pricked up my ears then. I listened. I heard the Good News.
Man and woman were created to be in a relationship with God – living a perfect life together in God’s perfect world. Unfortunately Adam and Eve rebelled. Their relationship with God was broken. Sin entered the world. It wasn’t pretty. Everything was tainted. And yes, it was a big problem. The solution? The solution came through the Son of God. Jesus. Jesus came into the world to put things right. He took the burden of my sins on Himself. He paid the price for my sin. It cost Him His life. It cost Him His all.
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23
And the free gift? Life in all its fullness. A life set free to live as I was meant to live. At peace with my Creator. With new purpose. With joy. All I had to do was to reach out and accept the free gift of life Jesus offered me. I did. That was 39 years ago. And did it work? You bet. Yes. I began to live with eternity’s perspective. With a new heart and a new beginning. With forgiveness. With hope burning bright - a candle lighting a dark place.
What kind of gift was that? It was a gift that offered me everything. A gift that cost God everything. This one wasn’t a scam. It gave me all I ever needed.
“All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ.” Ephesians 1:3
This free gift is available for all who come to Him. All you have to do is to ask.