What is the barrier between us and anything of value? THE PRICE. I see an expensive, designer made, sparkley, super hot shirt hanging in the mall, what keeps it from being mine? PAYING THE PRICE. My girl drools over the newest Build A Bear addition, why can’t she just walk away with it? THE PRICE MUST BE PAID. A brand new house stands on a ten acre lot, upgrades throughout, marble entry, fountain into the pool, detached five car garage. Sitting there waiting, just waiting for someone to move in and make it a home. Everyone wants it, everyone loves it. What will it take? PAYING THE PRICE.
One beautiful summer day, I changed my girl into her swim suit, packed some essentials and we headed to a local water spot. The city designed a long flight of stairs in the middle of the city with water flowing over them. On a hot day in July, hundreds of children gather and splash and play. Slip on sunglasses, lather sunscreen, playing commences. After the initial energy is used up, I spread a towel for Madison to sit beside me. I pull out two lunches and we have a little picnic. And then for the grand finale, a Tootsie Pop appears. Shouts of glee and happiness follow. This is her version of the perfect moment. The lollipop is popped into her mouth. But then, all of the sudden, from the throng of children, a face appears. “I want a sucker.” The voice demands. I understand childhood plees and respond, “Oh sorry sweetheart. That is the only one.” I am a bit shocked with the tantrum and stamped feet that march away complaining. Now, without going too far with my imperfect analogy, there are two things that I want to point out. One, the treat belonged to this certain child because she was my child. I did not scan the audience for the best behaved child. I did not look for the hungriest child. I handed it to MY child. I had prepared that surprise in advance for MY child. Secondly, the Bible tells us to be like children. CHILDREN ACCEPT. When Madison saw me pull out that tootsie pop, it was her’s. She did not say, “Mom, let me first earn this. Watch me be kind to all the children here and then you can give it to me.” She did not say, “Wait. I can pay for this. Let’s go home and get the money out of my piggy bank.” NO! She took it and enjoyed it as a gift.
Now. I love my girl. I love my daughter no matter what. Why do I love her? Because she is mine! She can make perfect grades, be a sweet friend, give her all in sports, and sleep in on Saturdays and I will love her. She can struggle and flop out of school, be selfish, unkind, lack ambition, wake me up at 4 am, and spill my coffee and SHE WILL STILL BE MY DAUGHTER AND I WILL STILL LOVE HER!
THE PRICE IS PAID! Christians, we are God’s children. If we sin, it hurts us in the here and now but as far as God is concerned, IT IS IRRELEVANT TO HIS LOVE FOR US AND HIS FATHERHOOD. WE ARE HIS CHILDREN. NO SIN CAN SEPARATE US FROM THE LOVE OF OUR FATHER!
The world knows “Christians” by people who don’t cuss, don’t drink, does not wear certain clothes, and judges everyone else who does.
NO! Believers in Christ screw up just as much as everyone else! THE AMOUNT OF SINNING IS IRRELEVANT TO BEING A CHILD OF GOD! Can I say that again so the non-believers will say, “Say what?!” And so that the believers can breathe a sigh of relief, THE AMOUNT OF SINNING IS IRRELEVANT TO BEING A CHILD OF GOD. The only difference in a Christian is that they realize they sin and that they need Jesus. In fact, Christians can be the biggest sinners there are! Look at the people that followed Jesus! They were sinners, big ones, like prostitutes and swindlers!
Christian, THE PRICE IS PAID! YOU ARE FREE! THE DEBT IS PAID! THE TOOTSIE POP IS YOURS! All you have to do is ENJOY it!