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J Vernon McGee told the story of the days before the Civil War in a city in the south. At the center of town, there is a commotion as a crowd gathers for a public auction to watch the proceedings. In the crowd is an uncouth, foulmouthed, loud, boisterous man who is the meanest, cruelest, most hateful man around. In the crowd is another man who stands out for his dignity, genteel mannerisms and soft-spoken tone, and is one the most kind, gentle, and gracious man. Both men, along with the crowd wait for the auction to begin.
The auctioneer steps to the podium and begins rattling his words as the first item to be sold is brought to the auction block. On the block is a beautiful young black girl, about 20 years of age. Her dress is old and torn, but remarkably clean. She is obviously filled with anxiety and fear as the bidding begins.



From the outset the loud obnoxious man seemed to have his evil, lecherous eyes set on this lovely, innocent, young lady. She cringed in fear as he opened the bidding.
When the kind gentleman saw her fear, he too placed a bid. Soon only these two men were involved in the bidding as the price of the girl rose higher and higher. Finally, the evil man bowed out of the bidding when he realized that the price of the girl was more than he was willing to pay.



When the auctioneer closed the bidding, the kind gentleman paid the price for his purchase, was handed the Bill-of-Sale and turned to leave. The young girl started to follow her new master. 
He then turned to her and asked, “Where are you going?” “Why, I’m going with you,” she responded; “You bought me and I belong to you.”
“O! You misunderstood,” the man said, “I didn’t buy you to make you my slave, I bought you to set you free.”
Then he took the Bill-of-Sale and wrote across in big block letters – FREE! – signed his name and gave it to the girl.
“I don’t understand,” the girl said. “You mean I am FREE!” “Yes, you are FREE!” ‘I can go wherever I want and do as I please.” “Exactly, You are FREE!”
“Sir, I don’t know who you are, but no one has ever shown such love and kindness to me. If I am free to do as I please, nothing would please me more than to go with you and serve you till the day I die.” 
And that day she went home with him, not as his slave but as his willing servant.


Each of us have been a slave to sin. But we have also been given the free gracious gift, at an incredible price, paid for by Jesus; not to make us his slave, but to set us free. How could we respond in any other way than to say, “If you love me that much, I’ll serve you forever!” This is the power of God's amazing grace and it is available right here and right now for you, to heal you, to free you, to forgive you and to set you free. That's why He brought you here today. You're not here by accident. He brought you here today to hear this message and once and for all, receive His grace that you might begin to live the life He created you to live.

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