Summary: Message reminding us that our salvation is free and anyone can join.
I was at one of those stores where you have to have a membership card to get in. The store will remain nameless, but you have to pay $35 a year or so to get into the store to then buy their items, which are said to be a great deal. Now you really still need to check what you are buying because not everything is a great deal. But we have a membership so we shop there.
Not too long ago I was buying some stuff and the guy checking me out of the store said, “Have you heard about our newest way to save you money?” I said, “no” trying to show as little interest as possible, but he began his pitch. They have just started a new program for only their best members. If I wanted to upgrade my membership I would start to save even more money. With this upgrade the computer would start to track my purchases. It would notice what kinds of items I tend to buy or what brands of products I use. Then they would send me special offers on those items when they were in stock. So, for a small additional fee I could save more money.
You all have heard that kind of a pitch before right? For just a few more dollars here and there, in the long run you will save more than that. Now these deals usually sound pretty good. And by doing some math you could really check it out and see what you would need to do in order to get your money’s worth. And they often make it sound easy enough. But here is what always comes to my mind; if this is going to save me money isn’t that going to lose money for the company? Companies do not often function if they are not making money. Their bottom line is to make money. The only reason they would offer a deal like this is because it makes them money. Now it may be that they have found or are hoping that people buy the upgrade, but do not fully take advantage of it. If someone pays the extra money, but never really use the benefits then the company has made a profit.
It is kind of like I heard Dave Ramsey ripping on extended warrantees. He said not to buy them. The reason everyone offers them to you is because they make so much money from them. Instead of paying for the extended warrantees on cars, tvs, computers, all that stuff just put aside half the amount you would have paid for the warrantees and if any of the things break you can fix it with what you have saved by not buying warrantees.
So, I decided not to get it.
My point here is to carefully consider the offers that you get. In many cases when an offer comes your way and it sounds too good to be true, what? It probably is too good to be true. But there are some offers that seem too good to be true, but they are for real.
Let’s look at what facebook has to offer you. This is a webpage for you about you. How much would you pay for something like that? $19.95? $9.95 a month? Let’s go to www.facebook.com. If you wanted to become a member of facebook you would notice it says there it’s free. It says it’s free and always will be. There are no membership requirements or anything. If you want to have a facebook page you can. Matter of fact you could have several if you wanted to.
This phrase actually used to say It’s free and anyone can join. You see there was a rumor message going around facebook that starting on a certain date you would have to pay for a membership to facebook. I believe the date was like July 15, just ten days ago. When I first saw that message I was a little concerned because I was already planning this message series and this sermon. I was worried because if facebook was not free I would not be on it. It is nice to stay in contact with people and it is fun, but I am not sure I would pay a monthly fee to do it. So, if I stopped using facebook then my messages would have had to change. But I also knew that sometimes people like to make things up and try to worry people for some reason. I am not sure why some people don’t have better things to do with their time then make up rumors to worry people.
So facebook is free and always will be. The same is true about our faith. Ephesians 2:8 reminds that “it is by grace you have been saved, through faith. Not of your own works lest anyone should boast.” Our salvation is free, it is a gift from God. There is nothing you can do to earn it. You can’t do anything to deserve it. It is simply a gift. That is it.