Christians, if you live anywhere in the United States, you have probably heard the term “Black Friday.” This is the Friday after Thanksgiving where retailers offer great discounts, people go shopping like crazy, and retailers make it in the Black on their books. I remember back in High School, circa 2001, a co-worker explained to me how her mom and all her sisters were excited for Black Friday. I had no idea what it was, or what the benefit of going out there could be, so I really did not pay much attention. Fast forward to today, I plan to be at 5:30 this morning standing in the Home Depot parking lot eating donuts and hot chocolate with my dad, brother, and son waiting to get inside their store. I don’t really have anything on my list, but I am going to help others get good deals. How did this come to pass?
I think my initiation into this event was after the birth of our first child. My father-in-law wanted to get us a food processor, so we could make our own baby food. My wife and mother-in-law found such a great deal, they went out to a big department store at midnight, got the food processor and a couple of other great deals, and we had been bit by the Black Friday Bug. Most of the time, I am not shopping for other people, I am shopping for myself. I have bought jeans, boots, tape measures, towels, gloves, socks and so on. Some people who really get into holiday gift giving, use it as an opportunity to stretch their holiday budget. Whatever the reason people go out, they are drawn in by someone offering something they think is too good to pass up.
I think about the greatest offer we have ever been given. The offer of salvation. As Christians, we KNOW this is absolutely the BEST deal that has EVER been offered in the HISTORY of the WORLD. Yet we also know, we do not have Black Friday responses. This offer is offered not just once a year around Christmas, but everyday of every year, 24/7, 365. Yet I have never seen anyone camping outside of a Church all night, to be the first one inside Sunday morning to get this deal. I have not seen people trample each other when it is offered as an altar call at the end of a sermon. Why is that?
I think it is because, as Christians, we do a bad job of selling this offer. Ouch. If we are on the receiving end of this offer, and it is such a great deal, then shouldn’t it really sell itself? I think when we get caught up with the things of this world, we get our eyes off of what we already have received. You see, going into this holiday season, we are bombarded with all the offers of what could make us happy. The latest toy, technology, tool, clothes, cosmetics, etc. When we realize we cannot have all the things, in all the advertisements, it can be frustrating. Instead of being Christians full of the fruits of the spirit, we are seen as griping, complaining, frustrated, irritated people. When lost people see this, they realize they can be all those things without being called a “Christian.”
In all love, I suggest this year, with every deal, or offer we see, just take a moment to think about the greatest offer we have received, the salvation of Jesus Christ. If someone starts talking about the 70 inch TV they bought, think about how Jesus bought you with His blood. If a store advertises 50-80% savings, think about how you are 100% saved and raised to life, when Jesus rose from the grave. If we focus on what we have, instead of what we don’t have, the fruits of the spirit: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness,Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Control, will be on display in our lives. This is the greatest advertisement God could ever put out there, for the greatest offer He ever made. I pray that you have a blessed Christmas season. I pray that you do not get caught up in the commercialization, but get caught up in the wonder of our Savior and King. I pray that the biggest gifts you receive, be spiritual. I pray that as you exhibit the benefits of living under such a magnificent covenant, that someone, anyone, would see it and want to have that sort of deal too. I pray that God would give us opportunities to increase His kingdom and inheritance, in Jesus Name, Amen.
For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life. John 3:16 (AMP)
If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved. Romans 10:9-10 (NLT)
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Galatians 5:22-23 (NLT)
Our greatest gifts: And so faith, hope, love abide [faith—conviction and belief respecting man’s relation to God and divine things; hope—joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation; love—true affection for God and man, growing out of God’s love for and in us], these three; but the greatest of these is love. I Corinthians 13:12-13 (AMP)
written and posted by Daniel Poggensee | 2017