Categories
Christian Living grace

But Wait, There’s More!

Does anyone else remember those old commercials for the Ginsu knife? I must have been ten or eleven years old the first time I saw one.

A guy uses a Ginsu to cut through nails, a soda can and a radiator hose, then picks up a tomato and slices it paper thin.

If only I’d been old enough for a credit card back then. They sold me with the radiator hose. Forget food, this ornery boy just wanted to tear stuff up! 🤓

But the coolest part of the commercial was how they kept sweetening the deal:

“This surgical grade steel knife can be yours for only $19.95. But wait, there’s more! For a limited time only, we’ll double your order. That’s right, two knives for the price of one! Just pay separate shipping and handling. But that’s not all! Order within the next ten minutes, and we’ll include a deluxe Ginsu paring knife for free.”

A countdown timer appeared on the screen…..


The Apostle Paul has a, “But wait, there’s more!” moment in his letter to the Romans. It happens about half way through chapter five. After highlighting the fact that God demonstrates His love by sending Christ to die for a bunch of unworthy sinners (Romans 5:8), Paul starts dropping exclamation points like a full-on salesman.

“Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through Him! For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to Him through the death of His Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved by His life! Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.” – Romans 5:9-11 (NIV) (emphasis mine)

It’s clear, Paul is excited about the fact that salvation through the blood of Christ is so much more than an insurance policy. Jesus is both the author AND finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2), and we are called to follow in His steps (1 Peter 2:20-21)

It’s fine to ask ourselves, “What would Jesus do?”, but even better to investigate (through the gift of the scriptures) what He actually DID! Plus, the guiding presence of the Holy Spirit means we can literally have the mind of Christ (Philippians 2:5). Because of these blessings, and many more, we are actually able to walk as Jesus did (1 John 2:6).

This must be the kind of ‘much more’ Paul was thinking about when he kept sweetening the deal in Romans chapter five. Hallelujah!

By the way, did you know Ginsu knives are still being made and sold today? After forty something years, you’d think everybody already has one–“their very own piece of indestructible surgical grade cutlery that never needs sharpening. All for the low price of $19.95.

But wait, there’s more!

Whoever claims to live in Him must live as Jesus did.

1 John 2:6 (NIV)

“IMG_1483.JPG” by Hélio Sassen Paz is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Categories
Christian Living joy

Turning the Key

Photo by Jaye Haych on Unsplash

I was intrigued recently with something DeborahMarie wrote on her blog, Great is God’s Faithfulness. The title of the post was, The Key to Life, and it was all about the choice set before God’s people in Deuteronomy 30:19-20.

Moses challenged them to love, obey and commit totally to God–to choose life over death and blessings over curses. This choice would be the key to life, but God would not make it for them.

OK, I thought. I have the master key to life, but it’s useless until I stick it into a lock and turn it. What motivates me to do that?

I found the answer in another devotional the next morning. Glenn Packiam, writing in Our Daily Bread, shared an article called, Costly Joy. The scripture he spotlighted was Christ’s parable of the hidden treasure.

“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.” — (Matthew 13:44)

The author then connects the dots to reveal the secret of unswerving motivation:

“Joy drives change–not guilt or duty.”

Glenn Packiam

BINGO! The Joy of the Lord inspires us to choose and use the key to life.

There’s a great example of this in action in Nehemiah chapter 8. The wall around Jerusalem had just been completed, and all the people came together to worship God. These folks hadn’t been to church or heard the Word in a long time. So when the scribe Ezra read from the Law of Moses, the congregation fell under conviction and began to weep. But Nehemiah said, “Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10

According to the book of Hebrews, it was this same kind of joy that gave Jesus the strength to endure the cross (Hebrews 12:2).

It may have been Friday night, but the Lord knew Sunday morning was coming!

You and I have read the book: God wins.

And winners go out in joy and are led forth in peace (Isaiah 55:12).

“Joy is the reason; surrender is the response. The treasure of knowing Jesus is the reward.”

Glenn Packiam

Whose Joy?

This joy that I have

the world can’t take it away

It belongs to God.

Categories
Christian Blog patience

Right Now, It’s Like This, Part 2

Recently I shared, Right Now, It’s Like This, about our long wait for a new roof after a hail storm.

The roofers finally arrived that morning and began to work. They were here all that day and the next, and the roof was two-thirds finished. But the following morning they did not show up.

I called our contractor. He said the crew leader told him they were getting caught up on other jobs and would return the next morning. They didn’t. The contractor contacted them again, and they promised to return that afternoon at 4PM. Again, they didn’t.

My wife and I were beginning to think they weren’t coming back.

Two hours later,the crew finally returned and finished the roof. Well, almost. After they left, I went up to take a look. The ridge was not complete–they ran out of those type of shingles! And no one said anything about coming back. So I sent an urgent message to our contractor, along with a picture, but got no response.

At 8:45 the next morning, the roofers AND the contractor showed up with the needed materials and completed the ridge.

The 72 hours saga was over. During that time we had gone through a range of emotions, but by the time the roof was finished, the soap opera level reactions we experienced had given way to elation.

With the project behind us, our earlier worries seemed overblown. A friend who worked for years in the trades told me that sub-contractors who have plenty of work don’t always get in a hurry–“they know they will eat,” he said. Our contractor assured me as well that he wouldn’t have left us with a partial roof.

I guess we watch to much HGTV.

Later that evening, I turned to the scriptures for wisdom.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.

James 1:2,3

That first day I saw the roofer’s ladder against the house, after weeks of delay, I thought the endurance part was over. In reality, it was only half-time. James said the testing of faith develops perseverance. I was thinking instamatic camera, but got 35MM. Oh, and I wasn’t too joyful about it.

Can you relate?

Photo by Sharon Snider on Pexels.com