Hi there! I hope you are enjoying your summer. After weeks of basketball camp, church camp, and VBS, I am finally enjoying a more relaxed schedule.
The last few days, I have been studying in the book of Galatians. Paul writes a pretty stern letter to the Christians there who have been “so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ (vs. 1:6).” The church had allowed Judaizers to come in and share another gospel–salvation by the keeping of the law.
Paul reminds the Galatians that they are “not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ (vs. 2:16).” The law had served its purpose. It showed us our need for Jesus Christ, and it is only through Him that we can be saved.
As I reflected on this and the free gift of salvation, I was reminded of a trip that I took last year. Every other year, my school takes a group of high school students to Washington D.C. I had never been and decided to go with my children last June.
One day after some free time exploring one of the many national museums, we sat along the sidewalk waiting for the rest of our group to gather so we could head to our next destination. The amount of people passing by was quite a shock to this small-town girl. One particular Asian lady dressed in a kimono and straw hat walked by, and I made eye contact and smiled at her. She quickly sat down beside me and took my hand. Before I knew what was happening, she slipped something in my hand and repeated the words, “Eternal peace,” over and over.
I’ll admit I was a little taken aback, but I thought I would be nice and accept the gift. It seemed much like a tract that I might pass out about salvation or an invitation to my church. I thanked her and attempted to take my hand away.
She shoved a notebook and a pen in front of me.
I said, “What’s this?”
She repeated, “Eternal peace,” and pointed at the open book.
As I scanned the page, I saw names listed. Written next to each name was an amount of money. Even with our communication barrier, I realized this woman wanted me to pay for the item and/or the “eternal peace” she had offered me. I apologized and explained that I could not accept the item.
It became quite a joke within our tour group. I had refused eternal peace!
And I had no problem doing that because I knew I had the REAL eternal peace.
Aren’t you thankful for the FREE gift of salvation? No strings attached. No amount of works or keeping of the law. And no price tag. 🙂
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and not of yourselves: it is a gift of God: