Ever see those commercials for free checking? Seems like just about every banking institution out there has at least one commercial touting their “free checking.” Bank of America has one. Wachovia has one. Wells Fargo and Washington Mutual each have one that, to listen to them, is definitely better than their competitors. Heck, even Addison Avenue Federal Credit Union has free checking. They have a slogan that says
“free checking that’s really free!”
Music videos are hot in my house. A lot of times I will walk into the living room and find Paris with picture-in-picture on the big-screen – a video on one screen and his PlayStation3 on the other, controls in hand, dancing in the front window. It provides a lot of entertainment for everyone…including those walking by. The other day, I plopped down in front of the TV and started flipping through the channels. I looked at the remote and noticed a button marked favorites. I hit it, and up popped an entire menu of “favorite” channels. As I rarely get the remote, those who do had managed to set up all the favorite channels and, well, you guessed it…they were all music channels. Heck, I didn’t even know that many music channels existed.
I settled on one, and pretty soon a Jennifer Lopez video came on. . As I listened to Jenny from the Block sing, My Love Don’t Cost A Thing, I began to think of the love that God has for His creation. A love that was so great, He sent His son down to earth to take care of the “cost” of sin in our lives. Romans 6:23 says
Let us praise God for his glorious grace, for the free gift he gave us in his son.
It doesn’t matter whether you are the wealthiest person or the poorest! The gift is still free and available with no strings attached. All we have to do is ask! It’s available to everyone from the worst to the best. It’s the gift of God’s love!
We don’t have to do anything to impress God so that He’ll give it. We just need to accept it! J-Lo says that the fancy cars and all the things this guy does to get her attention, don’t mean anything if the guy’s heart isn’t in it. It’s interesting how we try to impress God with all our good works, the money we give to church or charity. All in an effort to get God to love us a little bit more. The truth is that God loves us as much as we could ever be loved. We were created for Him, by Him…uniquely and wonderfully made, in His image. He says that all we have to do to get the gift is accept it.
I was recently reading the book The Hiding Place, “the extraodinary adventure of one courageous Christian woman who became a militant heroine during the Nazi take over of Holland.” In the book, she talks about her aunt, who believed that her good works would gain her a little bit more of an edge with God. One day the family was told that her aunt had three weeks to live. They all gathered as a group and went to her door to tell the bad news. Since they knew her belief about works, they each began to remind her of the treasures she must be laying up in heaven due to all the works she had accomplished. They reminded her of her writings, the clubs she had started, the funds she had raised…all for God’s benefit.
“Tante Jans put her hands over her eyes and began to cry. ‘Empty, empty!’ she choked at last through her tears. ‘How can we bring anything to God? What does He care for our little tricks and trinkets?’ And then as we listened in disbelief she lowered her hands and with tears still coursing down her faced whispered, ‘Dear Jesus, I thank You that we must come with empty hands. I thank You that You have done all — all — on the Cross, and that all we need in life or death is to be sure of this.'”
These checking account commercials talk about “checking that’s really free.” If you get down to the fine print though, pretty soon you’ll begin to find the hidden charges. They are there. As the old saying goes “ain’t nothin in this life comes for free!” Well, except one thing – God’s love! It isn’t predicated on anything you can do! In fact, it is the one thing that really is free!!