Remember those Susan B. Anthony dollars? The coins came out years ago and were slightly larger than a quarter which made them confusing. I had one, then it was gone. Apparently, I paid 75 cents more for something.
Our Pastor talked about the SBA dollars a few weeks ago. Most banks in the United States couldn’t get rid of them, yet one bank in Georgia couldn’t get enough of them. Perplexed, the government sent an official to checkout that bank. I thought maybe the bank gave the coins out by the shovel load to anyone opening a new account. But that is not what the official found upon visiting the bank.
Right there, next to the teller window was a simple piece of paper that said, “Susan B. Anthony Dollars, Limit 2 Per Person.” People flocked to the bank thinking the coins were worth much more since they were limited, and they found every way to collect them. A sharp someone in that Georgian bank used the marketing strategy of perceived value.
Manufacturers and producers use advertising and marketing strategies to build up the perceived value of a product and make more money. Here is an example. According to Investopedia, perfumes tend to be relatively inexpensive to produce but when “associated with a glamorous celebrity in order to create a mystique and perception of luxury” it can carry a huge price tag.
Years back, a coworker bought a cost effective dryer. Not wanting to haul his old working dryer away, he placed it out on his front yard with a sign. ”Free, Dryer Works.” Many days went by with no takers. He replaced the sign with a new one. “Dryer Works, $50.” The next day, the dryer disappeared. Moral of the story: If something is free, it has little or no perceived value, but once a cost is placed upon it, it gains in value.
Likewise, we often take God’s love and mercy for granted because it is free to us. We yawn and look at our watches when we hear the gospel. We think because it doesn’t cost us it must not have any real value. We assume if Heaven is such a wonderful place, it must cost us something. We place a cost on our salvation. “I will donate money, time, and do good deeds, then I will get into Heaven.” We feel we have to work for our ticket to heaven, and Jesus is just the conductor. We must get that ticket somehow, there are no free rides.
That’s a big weight to carry on one’s shoulders. To try to work ourselves into Heaven. How will we know if we worked hard enough, were good enough or have enough merits to get there? But no amount of work we do, money we donate or sacrifices we make can justify the cost of sin. Let’s face it, if we’re honest, we all know deep inside we are sinners. Sinners = Breakers of God’s Rules. Who can really say they have not ever stolen something no matter how small? Lied? Cheated? Coveted?
God set rules throughout the earth and the universe. The sun, moon and planets follow the courses they are supposed to follow. We get daylight and evening and seasons. The ocean waves follow the rules of gravity, we have no choice but to follow the rules of gravity too. It’s that way because God set it up that way. No big mystery. Saying it all popped up out of nowhere is like saying a blank computer had a short in it and came up with all my files, my pictures, my music, my blog and all the posts on it. That’s just silly.
God loathes sin. He loathes evil. He doesn’t want it in His Heaven. Not one little bit of it. So then, how can we get there if the cost is something we cannot cover. When we weigh ourselves against God and His holiness (His desire to stay away from sin), our value is less than a giant zero. Our human hearts are full of sin. But when we weigh ourselves against God’s heart, our value is beyond comprehension. God values us so very much, but there’s still that sin thing getting in the way.
According to the Holy Bible, the cost of salvation is free to us human beings. God doesn’t
want us in Heaven with our load of sin, but we could do nothing to clear it up on our own. Only God could do something. And He did. Our sin cost Jesus a great deal of shame, pain and torturous suffering. Then it cost Him His life The price of our sin, though free to us, cost the creator of the Universe, His only son. Jesus. But Jesus didn’t stay dead. He conquered sin and death when and rose from the dead. That’s a reason to celebrate! His conquering of sin and death means the debt is paid on our behalf.
Why would God go through all that trouble? Because He loves us with that kind of love, a love we cannot understand. The creator of all values us and wants to be loved by us. He is not an uninterested deity somewhere out there. God’s existence and personality is present in all His creation. In fact, we have personalities because He does. He made us in His likeness. God gives us the freedom to choose, to obey, to love, and to accept his love. The opposite is also true. We have the freedom to choose to disobey, to hate, and to walk away from God. He won’t force anyone into Heaven.
God’s love is so amazing, so incredible! It is beyond our comprehension. Putting aside His position as the Supreme Being of the universe, He came to earth in a body of human flesh to show us how much He loves us, and to show us what life was meant to be like. He knew we couldn’t get to His level on our own so He came to ours. He didn’t just stop at show and tell. He knew we were helplessly trapped because of our sin. He then gave His very Self so that when we recognize how pure God is, how impure we are, and how much He was willing to do for us; we will accept Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior. Then we’re guaranteed a sinless eternity in Heaven with Him.
It’s great to know that with all the pressures we have in this world, we can have one less boulder on our shoulders. We don’t have to figure out how to get to Heaven on our own. Jesus took care of that. That is truly what freedom is all about. That is what the word gospel means, good news.
In Luke 4:16-21, 2000 years ago, the Bible says Jesus walked into the temple and read these words from the book of the prophet Isaiah 61:1-3 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent me to heal the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind. To set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” Then he said. “Today, this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
That’s why Jesus came to earth. The people of his day thought he was planning an insurgency to overthrow the Romans and free the Jews from their oppression. But that is not what He was talking about. He was talking about freeing us from the bind and oppression of sin so that we could live richer lives on earth and be accepted in Heaven.
“Greater love has no man than this, to lay his life down for his friend.” Jesus. Luke 15:13
Peter Got it. When Jesus asked the disciples who they thought He (Jesus)was, Peter said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Matthew 16:1416 Who do you say Jesus is? Got questions? You can call Need Him Ministries below. I am not affiliated
with them in any way just like I don’t know you, but I care about you. 1-888-NEED HIM or you can go to: chataboutjesus.org
(Picture of coin from http://www.jamiescoinshop.com)
By ~ Elizabeth Yalian ©2013