I love to go to auctions! Why? Because I can usually get some great deals there – like, a dresser for $5, a couch for $10, a box of miscellaneous items for $1! I love going! It is like being on a treasure hunt! So imagine my excitement when I heard the Christian College in the little town next to us was having an auction. I put the date on my calendar, made plans to attend, and, with all the excitement and buzz about it in the community, I just knew it was going to be a good one! I anticipated the deals I might find: the antiques and the donated craft items! Being new to the area, I had been told this was going to be the best one around. It was the talk of the whole community. People were coming in from all over the area; alumni were coming back in from out of town, just for this event. In this little community of about 700 people the anticipation was overwhelming!
When I walked into the gym where the auction was being held, the auctioneer had already started his spiel, “Who will give me a hundred? A hundred and a quarter?” And so on. I didn’t have to be there long before I realized this was no normal auction. There were not going to be any “great deals!” A piece of cheesecake went for $110.00; a quilt was being bid up in the thousands of dollars!
It was obvious that the people attending this auction did not come for a deal. NO, they came to spend! Why? Because they love this small town college and they want to see that it continues to operate. They are dedicated to its mission and are willing to do whatever it takes keep it going. That got me thinking . . . How dedicated are WE to the mission of God? Are we in it only for the “good deal” of getting into heaven? Is that the only reason we follow God? Have we seriously considered what God has called us to do? Mark 16:15 says that God has called us to . . .”Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation,” and Matthew 5:16 tells us to “Let your light shine before others that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Have we considered the sacrifice that it is going to take on our part to serve Christ? Because, let me tell you, there was no doubt that the people at this auction had considered the sacrifices! They were going to do whatever they needed to do; they were willing to give everything they had, because they love this college so much. None of these people drove up in Rolls-Royces or Ferrari’s. No, these were simple farmers, pastors, and everyday people who look just like you and me. Some even wore straw hats and overalls. They had obviously saved up since the last auction so they could come back and give, all over again!
I wonder: Are WE that willing to see the cause of Christ go forward? These people sure were! It made me evaluate my own life and dedication! I am certain that these people had sacrificed things they desired for themselves, in order to give to this college. It reminds me of the last moments before Christ was taken into custody, giving His life for ours. He asked His dad (GOD!) if there was any other way to do this and then, knowing there wasn’t, He laid down His life for us! And now, we think if we have to give up our Starbucks coffee for a week, or do without a manicure, we think we are just about living on the edge of disaster.
When we seriously consider the amazing act of love that was shown to us through Christ Jesus – the sacrifice He made by giving His life – or just the sheer act of not striking us down dead some days for our own stupidity . . . ! But, you know, He loves us so much! We are valued, and uniquely designed, by the Creator of the universe. When we consider just how much love He has shown us, should we not desire to reciprocate that love back to Him?
I don’t know about you, but when someone shows me kindness, especially undeserved kindness, I am often overwhelmed by the blessing that has been given to me.
Today, I wonder if you will consider just how good God has been to you; if you will remember the price He paid for you to have eternal life, and just what that means to you in the realm of eternity. The Bible says He loved us BEFORE we loved Him (1 John 4:19). Just like these individuals were willing to give their all to insure that this college continues on, we have a Savior who was willing to give His all for us. How can we give Him any less?
You see, our relationship with Christ should never be looked at as a bargain, but as a priceless gift of which we are undeserving. It is then and only then, that we will realize just exactly how much we have been forgiven. And she, who has been forgiven much, loves much! (Luke 7:47)
Won’t you love today?