I’m sure you’ve been inundated, as I have, with emails from all the stores where you’ve ever purchased anything – sharing the latest sales.  BOGO, 70% off, and one store even had a code VERYRARE because they hardly ever have sales of the magnitude they were offering!  I did take advantage of the sales and had to wait a little bit longer for delivery, but I was delighted when I got some cute tops from Ann Taylor Factory and The Loft and Old Navy, and more!

It’s funny, because often I read things like “it’s basically free” and it did feel that way, when I was able to purchase a cute floral puffy-sleeved blouse for summer for a tiny fraction of the normal price.  I ordered lots of new earrings from American Eagle because they were “a steal!”  And it’s been so fun opening the packages.  I smile so big, as I hang up my new purchases and decide where to wear them – to the car or to the park or the backyard (insert a funny emoji here.)

Even gasoline has been so low that if we could travel, we could go far without spending lots of bucks!

This all started me thinking about freedom.  I mean, we are told that salvation (erasure of sin and the guilt of it) is free if we just believe.  And it is.  And yet, because of the misrepresentation of Jesus to the masses, many people aren’t interested in erasure of guilt.  In fact, they want to keep on doing whatever they please, if it feels good.   We want to seek revenge, to put others in their place, and do wrong in order to make our own lives right.

The reason these incredible sales have been occurring is because brick and mortar stores have closed, and in order to make money – these stores have to offer incredible deals to the folks who are at home in need of that shopping fix and new things!  And the sales and the pitches and the offers worked!  Sure, I wanted those two tops if I got two free!  Why not?

I know that salvation is free from Jesus, because he paid the price for my sin.  That’s HUGE.  I understand the need for a perfect sacrifice to undo all the havoc that’s been caused by evil in the world.  And I cannot thank Jesus enough, in an eternity of lifetime here and there, for giving me eternal life – free of guilt – full of joy – if I only believe.  That’s the purchase of the ages for sure – he died and gave – so that I might receive and live!

But I have learned from shopping and from my experience with Him over the years, it does take expense on my part for a relationship.  It took a little expense from my pocketbook to get those deals, and it takes a bit of expense from my heart to get that peace he offers! 

I lived for 30 years with the free gift of salvation (well, I don’t really know exactly when I believed, but I was young.)  I was scared into believing, and I know that Jesus, in his mercy, took that little bit of faith and forgave me and gave me the gift of salvation – from sin and evil.  Best free gift ever! 

But I also know that the extras, of peace and joy in the middle of hard times, aren’t free.  Not by any means.  I do not have peace if I don’t learn to cast my cares on Him.  If I choose to carry them around, I’m heavy and fearful and a mess!  Joy isn’t free, either.  It’s not even a BOGO sale.  Joy is something I have to choose daily, minute by minute, reminding myself to whom I belong and how powerful and mighty he is.  I have to read about his character, demonstrate and receive his love, and walk without anger with my husband, and others.  Joy isn’t free, and it’s not there when I’m bitter and judgmental.

So…if you will, think about those sales and the deals and the fun it is getting those reminders in your inbox of the next thing you need to buy at that low, low price!  And think about the gift of salvation, if you’ve never received it.  It’s totally free for the asking and for the believing – that Jesus died and lives again – and he conquered the power of sin and death!  Then start this amazing life of a relationship with him where he gives you purchasing power for the other things like peace, joy, hope, forgiveness of others, kindness, and so much more – if you expend a little effort in getting to know him and obey Him.

Basically free?  That’s cool, if the quality is there.  And salvation is pure gold.

Still costs a bit?  No worries, when your heart and bank is full of trust and love for Him – the one who holds all good things in his hands, just waiting to be poured out into your heart – your daily inbox – day after day.

Check it now, and see what you can believe, purchase and receive!

Basically Free
by Marcy Lytle

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