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Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Our home on a bright Autumn afternoon 11/16/19 (Click to enlarge)
Our home on a bright autumn afternoon. We have lots of acorns under the oak trees!
(Click to enlarge)

"Free Is Not Always Good"

Message summary:
Today we want to present life's premium genuine free gift.

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

"Therefore, as through one manís offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Manís righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life" (Romans 5:18). "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 6:23).

AcornsWe have two large oaks in our front lawn. They were young trees when we first moved to our home located on property that had been tilled farmland when our house was built in the mid-eighties. When we first moved here in 2002 the oaks had brilliant red leaves in the fall and no acorns. But now, as the trees have matured, the leaves tend to be a more reddish/brown color and under the trees our lawn is loaded with acorns.

So we make a proposal to each reader today. We will give you some free acorns, in fact you can have all you can take (we'll provide the bags as well). We're feeling so generous we'll even throw in all the free leaves you can haul away. You just need to come over and pick them up!

Years ago there was a commercial that had the line, "Free is always good". Well that's certainly not true. As a child we were told not to take free candy from a stranger. All through life we are bombarded with free offers, some are valid but most aren't. There's almost always a catch.

Then there's the "free" that is really a trap such as a free drink, a free joint, a free voucher for a gambling casino, etc.

When many of us hear "free gift" we wonder if it's a gimmick. We've been conditioned to think that way. I get lots of offers for free gifts often accompanied by small asterisk such as "Free Gift*". I look down the page for the * and it reads "Pay only shipping and handling" or some other onerous condition which may end up being more than I would have been willing to pay for the item in the first place!

But today we want to present life's premium genuine free gift. Notice the glorious phrase in our daily verse "so through one Manís righteous act the free gift came to all men". That's the very best free gift in all eternity! It is available to all people; men and women, boys and girls, from every tribe and language. The Scripture proclaims, "To all who received Him (Jesus), to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God" (John 1:12).

God's free gift to the human race is not a gimmick. Jesus said, "Freely ye have received, freely give".

Indeed, "Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe. Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow." Or as another old chorus puts it, "He paid a debt He did not owe. I owed a debt I could not pay. I needed Someone to wash my sins away. And now I sing a brand new song, Amazing Grace. Christ Jesus paid the debt that I could never pay."

Have you received God's free gift of salvation? Are you living as a child of God? Are you walking in the joy of knowing that your sins are forgiven and that you have a future home in heaven?

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer:  Father, offers are sent to viewers through every media outlet so we've grown skeptical about receiving anything of value that we don't pay for ourselves. Yet the greatest eternal gift offered to all of humanity is beyond our ability to pay. What we were unable to do through the Law You did by sending Your own Son, Jesus, in the likeness of our human flesh. In doing so He made Himself an offering for our sin so that we might receive forgiveness and be adopted into the family of God. We cannot boast, for it is not in observance of the Law that we are cleansed, but through the free gift of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. We have freely received this gift and we want to freely share it with those who have not heard. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Fairest Lord Jesus/Jesus, Son Of God/Is He Worthy?"  Video  Calvary Church choir, orchestra and congregation (Stephen's note: Can you find Brooksyne in the choir?)

A reader named Jack shared the following comment about "Is He Worthy?": "Our grandchildren sang this with their Church's choirs and orchestra last Easter.  The children asked the questions and the adults answered and all together sang the affirmation. It moved us to tears."  Now that's a great idea!

"The God Who Stays"   Video  Matthew West

"I Got Saved"  Video  Selah

Finally today:

We have come to enjoy Andrew Peterson's music although we don't recall ever hearing of him till we sang the song "Is He Worthy" last year. Andrew Peterson's name rang a bell in Ester's memory of a song she associated him with called, "Tractor Song" on "Slugs and Bugs", a children's album from many years ago!  Video  We dedicate this song to Stephen Lapp.

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLEģ, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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