Have you ever been shopping on a day in which deep discounts are offered to buyers?
It’s usually a “madhouse” in the store-people crowding, pushing, and shoving so that they can find the best bargain. The day after Thanksgiving, now called “Black Friday” is one of those discount days. I won’t go near a store on “Black Friday” but people will get up in the middle of the night and stand in line just to purchase something they want.
Because they get what they want at a discount. I know that getting bargains makes sense financially, but it seems that there is something within us that wants to get what we want with as little personal investment as possible. I think that many folks actually like to brag about what great lengths they go to just to get something at a discount!
I think the reason many churches are not seeing long lines to get into services is because they don’t offer Jesus at a “discount”. Most people are interested in the offer of eternal life. They are also interested in the offer of abundant life. The church offers both of those through Jesus. So, why are we not seeing long lines to take us up on the offer?
Primarily, because many are looking for these things at a discount and, unfortunately we offer those things at a high price: their lives! It’s not because we don’t like crowds, it’s just the fact that Jesus set the price and to get the “real deal” it will cost you everything.
I’m reminded of an early bargaining encounter that centered around the offer of an abundant, eternal life.
In Genesis, chapter two, we see God creating the pinnacle of His masterpiece: mankind. As He goes about His creation, we continually see these words used:
“This is the history of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and heavens.”
“The Lord God formed man…..”
“The Lord God planted a garden in Eden….”
“The Lord God made every tree grow….”
“The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden….”
“The Lord God commanded the man….”
“The Lord God said, ‘It is not good for man to be alone….”
“The Lord God made the woman from the rib of man…..”
Notice who did all this? The Lord God: the self-existent, all-knowing, all-powerful, God – high above all other “gods”. Well, when the serpent came to Eve (with Adam probably standing there as well) he tempted them by saying, “Has God said?”
Notice, the serpent left off part of God’s name, the one who had done everything – he left off the part of him called, “Lord”. Satan discounted God to Eve and therefore was able to undermine His authority. I didn’t say he changed it – I said he undermined it. Later, in the cool of the evening, Adam and Eve heard the sound of the “real deal” walking in the garden. “Discounted God” was nowhere to be found, and sadly, they were left with discounted lives for a “discount” faith.
Jesus is not hear to haggle with you over His offer of abundant, eternal life. He says that if you want the treasure – the pearl of great price, then you will have to pay for it with your life. If you want “discounts” and knock-offs”, satan has a store right down the street. Jesus will watch you walk away, rather than offer you “discounted” junk!
If your sick of junk, then you have the offer of the “real deal”. Come prepared to pay the price and you will get the full and perfect offer as your own. I can’t wait to rejoice with you as it becomes yours!