She Gave All She Had To Live On (...continued from the last 2 weeks)
We left off in part 2 of this story with a question:
So which is it – does our salvation have a cost or is it free?
The answer – both. How?
We get a clue about this in Isaiah 55. This passage is a beckoning by the prophet for the people to turn to the Lord. The first verse says, “Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.”
This is strange language – how do you buy something with no money or price? The very word “buy” implies that there is a cost. And yet, we are told to come and buy without money or price.
That’s because our relationship with God did have a price and it has already been paid – through the cross of Jesus Christ. Just two chapters before this we read about the cost – “He was despised and rejected by men…he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows…he was wounded for our transgressions…he was crushed for our iniquities…” (Isaiah 53:3-5)
The reason we can “buy without money or price” is because Jesus has paid the price. That’s why we can follow Jesus now. So – while our salvation is free to us, it cost the Son of God his life.
It is our response to this gospel – this good news – that costs us. When we want others to see this good news, it has a cost. What is our response? When we have been given much at great cost to another, it frees us to give much to others at great cost to ourselves. What we have been given, we can freely give to others. But it costs us – it may cost money, time, comfort, security. There will always be a cost in pointing others to Christ.
But there’s a secret – our cost really is no cost at all. What?
Jesus tells another parable about a man who finds a treasure in a field. “The Kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” (Matt 13:44)
He sells ALL THAT HE HAS (read: COST).
Then in his JOY (read: NO COST) buys the field.
In other words – the things we give up (money, possessions, comfort, security, etc.) to make Jesus known through radical love and service do not even compare to the JOY that floods our lives in making that happen. And – when we leave this world, we will experience the fullness of the glory of Christ for all eternity…and we will not even think back on those tiny little “costs” we incurred on earth to make his name known.
So – Terry – thank you. Thank you for your immensely significant gift. What joy it has brought me and what conviction as well. Might we all be willing to love and serve this world with the costly generosity modeled to us and given freely to us by Christ.