Sign-up for free e-newsletter

Viewpoint from Vicki Haslam 3rd April 2009



Everybody loves a bargain – half price offer, buy one get one free, 75% off – even though deep down we know that most of the time the bargains are not real: the offer deal is factored into the price, the stoviewpoints cross logo jpegre/manufacturer makes up the small loss by a large profit elsewhere or the items are ‘end of range’ and the seller just needs to get rid of them. The phenomenon of ‘sales fever’ is well known: people will buy almost anything In the heat of the moment, battling through a scrimmage of dozens of other people to reach the ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ bargain, and the items will often languish unworn in a wardrobe or unused at the back of a cupboard when in the cold light of day, and in the peace of one’s own home, we see that they were not such ‘bargains’ after all.
It is quite different with something we are given by a friend, or a service rendered: most people’s first reaction is ‘But you must let me pay you for it’ or ‘How much do I owe you?’ We are strangely reluctant to accept something for nothing from our friends, we do not like ‘to be beholden’ to anyone we know personally.
Perhaps this explains why people find it so hard to take God up Dove righton His offer: redemption is ours if we only say ‘yes’. We cannot earn it or deserve it; the only response asked of us is to accept thankfully and wholly the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross and the grace of God. Does this seem too easy? Actually, it isn’t. There is something in human beings that doesn’t like to surrender control, that likes to say, ’I did this, I deserve this, I achieved this by my own merit/effort’ and it is very difficult to accept this huge gift of grace as being wholly out of our own grasping. However, once we accept that grace is ours by God’s bounty and not by our own efforts, we come to accept also that we are ‘beholden’ to God for everything else, too – for the very world we live in, for our bodies, our talents, our relationships with others, our ability to overcome adverse circumstances and the fact that we can rejoice in the Lord at all times.
Just say ‘yes’ and ‘thank you’ and learn the wonderful promises that God has made to all who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and accept his suffering as being on behalf of each and every one of us.