Tuesday, July 28, 2020

LHM Daily Devotions - July 28, 2020 - "Free?"

https://www.lhm.org/dailydevotions/default.asp?date=20200728

Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"Free?"

July 28, 2020

(The Lord said) "Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to Me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. Incline your ear, and come to Me; hear, that your soul may live; and I will make with you an everlasting covenant, My steadfast, sure love for David. Behold, I made him a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander for the peoples. Behold, you shall call a nation that you do not know, and a nation that did not know you shall run to you, because of the LORD your God, and of the Holy One of Israel, for He has glorified you."

Some years ago, I was responsible for doing a great deal of immigration paperwork in the Vietnamese community of St. Louis. That's because it's incredibly difficult to do the paperwork correctly; there are pages and pages of stuff to fill out, and God help you if you get any of it wrong. So every Sunday at church I would sit at a desk and help people work through their applications, for free.

Now I hate paperwork. But I was flabbergasted to find out that some people, including some of my very own relatives, were not bringing their paperwork to me for help. Instead, they were going to other people in the community who spoke very little English. And those people were charging them $400 a pop—and they were getting it wrong, too!

Why would people rather go there than take their paperwork to a native speaker of English (with a Ph.D., even) who charged them nothing? Someone finally told me. They said, "You were doing it for free, so we didn't think it could be any good."

That's pretty much what we do to God, isn't it? He says to us, "Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! ... Incline your ear, and come to Me; hear, that your soul may live." God offers us life, hope, joy, forgiveness, healing, comfort, a place to belong—and we shy away like nervous shoppers. How could it be real? The price is too low.

Except that it's not. Oh, for us the price is low—in fact, it's completely free. But that's only possible because God Himself has paid that price Himself, and in full. That's what Jesus was doing when He became a human being. It cost Him something to lay aside His glory—to be born among us in poverty—to spend years meeting the needs of crowds of people—to suffer, die, and be buried. Jesus was paying that price. And He did it gladly, because He loved us.

Should we feel bad about that? No indeed! What God wants from us is simple: "Come ... come ... come!" He says. "Delight yourselves in rich food ... hear, that your soul may live ... and I will make with you an everlasting covenant, My steadfast, sure love." There is no trap to this, no hidden cost, no surprise ending. What God wants is for you to be blessed—for you to be His beloved child—for you to share the resurrection life of Jesus, our Savior. So try Him!

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, help me to trust You in a world full of untrustworthy people. Amen.

Reflection Questions:
1. When did you think you were getting something good only to find out there was a secret cost attached?

2. Have you ever missed out on a good thing because it felt too good to be true?

3. How do you know that God is trustworthy?
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo. Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
When did you think you were getting something good only to find out there was a secret cost attached?

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