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No Strings Attached
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"For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God..." (Ephesians 2:8).

I remember my sadness, the day one of my best friends moved from our neighborhood. Yet, within weeks, a new family settled in with a daughter just my age. Her name was Joy and to my surprise, her mother worked! You see, in 1961, it was a most unusual occurrence for a mother to work outside the home.

I was also amazed at the size of Joy’s allowance. Most of my friends, including myself, received $1 per week but Joy’s mother gave her $5 per week, to spend any way she chose! And to my delight, Joy chose to spend it on me! Every day after school, Joy and I rode our bikes to the local store where she would buy me candy, ice cream and sodas. This went on for weeks until one day Joy said to me, “My mother found out I’ve been spending my allowance on you and now she wants you to pay it all back!

In shock and disbelief I slowly pedaled my way back home and our friendship immediately waned. At the tender age of 12, I learned that, “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch!”

What's the Catch?

Have you ever been given a gift only to discover it wasn’t really a gift after all? It happens all the time. Sometimes the “gift” turns out to be a bribe and you are expected to act a certain way, or do a specific thing in return for the “gift.” “You scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours,” the giver croons. And then, the light dawns, and you know you’ve been bought.

In the mail you receive an offer for “4 Free CD’s!!” But in fine print you discover you have to buy four more in the next two years. Your dentist offers you two free movie passes. But of course, that is in exchange for referring a new patient to him. And the list goes on and on. In most cases, there’s something you have to do in order to earn the free “gift.”

Not so with the gift of salvation. For you and me, it is totally free. In fact, there is nothing we can do to earn it. But perhaps the very fact that it is free makes it suspect. “Where’s the hitch?” we wonder. How can forgiveness for sins, a transformed life, and eternity be free? There must be a cost!

Absolutely right! But, the cost has been paid by someone else, someone named Jesus. His death on the cross was the ultimate price paid to obtain forgiveness and salvation for you and me. The gift is ours – no strings attached. But we must reach out and accept it.

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By Kathy A Lewis. Copyright © 2010 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE ®

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