Salvation by Faith Alone & Grace of God | Devotion #5: 1 John 5:11-13
Caleb Combs | Gathering Pastor
A few years ago, I stopped by my bank on the way home from work to make a deposit. I cannot remember exactly what for, but I am not a huge fan of going to the bank. However, I now love all of the mobile banking apps out there. Sorry, you are not reading to hear about my banking preferences. So, as I walk out of the bank, I hear this lady yelling at me attempting to get my attention. For some reason, I was off of my game that day, I pride myself in being a pretty street smart person, and for some reason, I walked up to a stranger’s car in a bank parking lot; yes, not the smartest move I have ever made. As I approached her car, she did something I would never have expected; she began spraying me with cologne. I noticed she had hundreds of bottles in her car and it felt like her goal was to spray me with every one of them! I was caught off guard and was ready to walk away until she said the magic word, well at least the words that caught my attention, “I am running a DEAL today!” This was like magic to my ears; I love a good deal. She said that the bottles normally sell for $75, but today she was selling them for $20. I thought to myself, “How can I pass up on such a good deal?” So, we narrowed down to the best smelling one, and I handed over $20 to a lady in a bank parking lot, and she handed me the merchandise.
Now, I live about 5 minutes from my bank, and so I thought I would surprise my wife with my new smell. I knew she would be so excited about how good of a deal I got and also that I had some semblance of thought on personal smell. So, I sprayed myself a good dozen times on the ride home to the point my car, myself, and probably those cars around me could recognize how good I smelt! I arrived home and walked in with my chest held high in an attempt to impress my wife. She just looked at me in confusion and asked what I was doing. I moved closer sticking my chest out further hoping she would ask about my smell, and to my amazement, she never did. At this point I was frustrated, so I skipped her asking me and told her the story of my amazing deal and how I thought she would be so impressed with me, but to my dismay, she was not. She just looked at me with a crooked face dissecting what I had just done. She said to me, “I think I recognize that bottle.” I responded, “Of course you do, you have seen it at one of your fancy stores!” But she said, “No” and then a light went on, “I know where I have seen that bottle. You can buy it at the dollar store!” At that moment, I realized I had been taken in a bad deal. I was taken for $19 when I thought I had gained so much.
This is an embarrassing story, but one that shows how a bad deal can work. However, Jesus Christ has offered us the best deal of all, the grace of God. Salvation comes by grace and grace alone. It is not something we can earn by doing good things or deserve by living a “good” life. Simply putting our faith in Jesus Christ and trusting in His perfect plan, we too can have eternal life. He does not ask much of us because He already has done the heavy lifting on the cross. He conquered death, Hell, and the grave; His grace covers all of our sins.
We are told a powerful promise in 1 John 5:11-13, “And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life.” Grace is a free gift; it is the best deal we could ever take. If you have never received this gift, make today the day. If you have the best deal of all time, make sure you appreciate the work done by Jesus and realize His grace is enough to cover all of your sins: past, present, and future.