The Best Things In Life Are Free…….Well, Sort Of.

April 9, 2010

I had sort of an ‘epiphany’ this morning while my wife and I were out running errands. This is always a great time of fellowship for us. We’re able to discuss family matters, business matters, and things concerning the fellowship in our home, uninterrupted. We started talking about a few records in the Word of God when I realized that we didn’t have a Bible in the car with us. (I felt naked. I keep a Bible everywhere). So, I stopped at WalMart and ran inside to buy an inexpensive Bible (large print of course these days). I paid $9.97 for it (plus tax), and as I was walking out of the store it hit me like the proverbial ton of bricks. I just paid $9.97 for a copy of God’s scriptures, in my own language!

We have a mind-set and a system of values in the Occident that places great worth on the tangibles of life, the things a person possesses (or thinks they possess). We see bumper stickers that read, “He who dies with the most toys wins!” That man or woman may die with the most toys, but they are still going to be dead, and one thing is absolutely certain, the toys aren’t going with them to the next life. The lust for ownership and control of things in our society goes all the way back to the dawn of civilization. The first city was built by Cain (who was the first man to be born of the seed of the Serpent) in his quest to martial and control the finite resources.

Hardly anybody ever thinks about the intangibles of life until they are threatened with, or notice their loss. What is the love of a friend worth? What is the love of a spouse or a child worth? What price tag can be placed on a good night’s sleep? What valuation can be assessed to a sound mind? What monetary estimation can be made of eternal life, or answered prayer, or the knowledge of scripture, or a vital relationship with God – a relationship where He walks with us and talks with us, and the reality of that is more than just musical or poetic lyric?

What a sick person wouldn’t give to have health. What a lonely person wouldn’t give to have companionship, or a trusted friend. What an insane person wouldn’t give if they could experience sanity. What a paranoid person wouldn’t give to have peace of mind. What a destitute person wouldn’t give to have food, clothing, and shelter. What a person who is dieing wouldn’t give that they might live longer. What a man or woman who is spiritually dead (and recognizes it) wouldn’t give to have spirit, and to be reconciled to God. Maybe, just maybe, the best things in life ARE free. Well, sort of.

The truth of the matter is that most of the “best things in life” were paid for, and obtained for you, at great cost to someone else, on your behalf.

II Timothy 1:7
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

A sound mind and freedom from fear is available to any man or woman who accepts what has been done for them, on their behalf, by Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 3:24
When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet.

Psalm 91:5-7
Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.

We are surrounded on every hand by negative and disturbing information and issues. Listen to media advertising, or the national and local news. I’ll wager more than half of what you see and hear is negative and full of potential dread. What is a good night’s sleep worth? What is it worth to be able to go to sleep free from sickness, worry, anxiety, doubts, or the fear of death? Only the knowledge of God and His Son, Jesus Christ (and his complete and finished work on your behalf) makes this available.

Sanity, soundness of mind, freedom from fear and paranoia, and mental peace was paid for by Jesus Christ in the mental suffering he endured during his more than 40 hours of torture, suffering, and abuse.

Isaiah 53:4, 5
Surely he hath borne our griefs (pains), and carried our sorrows (sicknesses): yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

Amen!!!

The prophet Isaiah, looking forward to the finished work of Jesus Christ said, “the chastisement of our peace was upon him.” It was upon him! He paid for it! He accomplished it for us! We have peace! What value do you place on knowing that? What price tag do you put on that?

The knowledge of God’s Word that makes known the complete and finished work of Jesus Christ that makes physical healing and mental wholeness, and so much more, (including eternal life, reconciliation to God, justification, sanctification, righteousness, and redemption) available to us, is not something we in any way earned or deserved. It is an unmerited privilege.

Society and the world in which we live has a mentality of entitlement. I came to the realization many years ago, that the knowledge of God via an understanding of the Scriptures is not an inalienable right to us as His sons and daughters. It is a privilege that is extended to all of us by the time and energy and sacrifice of those who are called of God to teach and to serve His Word to us on a silver platter.

I was cognizant and thankful of the sacrifice of men like William Tyndale, who for the terrible crime of translating the Bible into English so the common man could read it in their own language, was tied to a stake and strangled to death by an executioner, then had his body burned. Also, men like John Wesley, John Wycliffe, Martin Luther and so many others, who gave their life in service to God, many times at their peril. I became overwhelmingly thankful for my mentors through the years, who gave their lives in service and teaching and personal sacrifice to make the knowledge of God so readily available to me as a young man, without charge. And for more than thirty years I have dedicated my life to being a tribute to my teachers and have continued to make that same knowledge of God available to others.

Those who hear the call of God to serve His Word and minister to His people most clearly, be it to their personal harm or not, make no apology, and have the least difficulty in accepting or explaining the sacrifice required to heed the call of God in their lives.

As I walked out of WalMart with that Bible I was nearly brought to tears as I thought of the opportunity of not just being able to walk into a WalMart (of all places) and purchase a copy of the book itself (for ten dollars), but the privilege of having a knowledge of God’s Word, His truth and will, accurately, not without the commitment, dedication, and service of others. Yet, how little value is placed on this most valuable of all things. It is true that the best things in life are free, to us, but not without cost to others.

For responses, information regarding fellowships, or to support the work of the Bible Study Group, contact – fellowship@biblestudygroup.org

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