There is an old saying that there is no free lunch; which implies that when you have lunch with a friend and they pay the bill, somehow that lunch was not free. On a micro view, the lunch was free to the person not paying, on a larger perspective, the friend paid for two people. So instead, maybe the saying should be, “Someone always pays for lunch.” There is an important distinction between not paying for something, and that something being free. Everything we use or enjoy has been paid for by someone or some entity. The beautiful flowers and trees that line the streets of my home town are free for everyone to enjoy, residents and visitors, but the city taxes we pay allow that beauty to continue. I’ve downloaded free apps on my cell phone, but are they really free? Someone worked hard to write them, and more important, I use my time during the day to use (play) these free apps, taking time away from family and work. Time is valuable and finite, so anything that occupies our time should be more important than the time lost doing it.
We live in a great country (not without its problems) whose existence provides the opportunity for happiness, excitement, education, freedom – the list of possibilities is endless. Of course, for the right to live here we must pay: taxes, fees, surcharges, penalties, interest – just like opportunities, the method to pay seems endless too. That is OK; we have established that nothing is free, so writing a check or seeing that deduction on our check stub is an acceptable exchange. (I know, we could debate equitable taxation, or representation by idiots all day long, so just hang with me). We attend a great church, with incredible facilities for teaching and worship that can only operate by receiving “gifts” from its members. We freely attend church, but we can’t act as if it is free, or we risk placing an unfair burden on those who pay the price for its existence.
I’ve been told many times that the grace given to us by God is free (Ephesians 2:8), that we have been saved by faith, we did not earn it, but it is a free gift from God. There are two sides to this statement; one is that God gives us something that we do not have to pay for. On the other side, someone paid the bill to allow God to give us such an incredible gift. Jesus lived a perfect life here on earth, then died a horrible death, and in doing so He paid the bill for our salvation. In reality our salvation wasn’t free; it was earned at a high cost by Jesus.
The only event that does not follow the rule of, ‘nothing is truly free’ is the love of God. Where every other act throughout humanity comes with a price tag, God loves us for free. God loves us and we do not have to do anything in return. In fact, even if we refuse to acknowledge His love; if we reject His love – nothing will change. God will love us with the same intensity; no matter what. We can be happy or sad, on the left, middle or right, employed or not, mean spirited, angry, in love, or alone – the Love from God is free and constant, whomever or wherever we are.
Lunch with God is absent calories, sweet tasting, amazingly fulfilling, and free. Dig in.
Thanks for reading.