Catchy title, huh? Thanks. I thought you’d like that!
But seriously, my ink pen really does rock. Go with me on a trip back on how I acquired such a piece of handwriting art.
Years back when I was attending the Baptist College of Florida, the only Christian Bookstore around was about 20 minutes away in Dothan, Alabama. No, we didn’t have a Lifeway or a Family Bookstore, it was called Dove Christian Supply. This is where we students had to go to pick up the latest cd or reading material. On this particular day, I remember going and buying Third Day’s, Come Together album, getting to the counter and pulling out my checkbook (debit cards were just coming out, and who in the world would use one of those? What a fad…), and just like normal, I didn’t have a pen.
I asked the young lady behind the counter if I could borrow a pen out of the pen cup. As I sifted through the Bics, Uni-balls, even a few sharpies, I saw it. It stood out like an angel. A black roller ball with gold trim and a white star on top. The pen of all pens. The heavens opened, a beam of light shone down, and big fat baby angels started flying around playing the Hallelujah chorus. It was none other than a Monte Blanc.
When my eyes saw it, I couldn’t believe it! I thought to myself, “Is that what I think it is? Is that an authentic Monte Blanc (cause after all, it was in southern Alabama…I KID! I KID!)?” Pryer to this day I had only seen one in person, and it was given to a friend of mine as a gift. All I knew was that it was expensive, cool, and that I wanted one!
“May I use this pen?” I asked. “Well absolutely, ” the clerk replied.
When I picked it up I could feel the coolness and prestige that came with the pen. As I began to fill in my check, it wrote exquisitely, and I knew that I must have this pen.
“I know this is a strange question, but, do you think it would be okay if I kept this pen?” I was hesitant to ask. I didn’t want to be let down, this pen was amazing! The cashier looked up with a smile and said, “Sure, it’s yours.”
I almost did a backflip.
YES! The pen was mine! I was excited but in shock that she really just gave me this awesome gift. My
day, week, month, YEAR was made! I couldn’t wait to get back and tell all of my friends about my awesome new pen. I used that pen everyday taking notes. I used it to doodle. I kept it in my bag so that I would never be without it. And the crazy thing is that if I left my pen somewhere because of my forgetfulness, I would always find my way back to it. I’m telling you, this pen ROCKS.
“Dude, you got a little excited over an ink pen, didn’t you?” Yes I did! And there’s a good chance that perhaps you’ve been just as excited about something you’ve received at some point in your life time. Maybe it was a christmas/birthday gift, maybe it was something that was passed down to you from your grandparents, or something your children gave you. Whatever it may be, it meant and means a ton to you.
Gifts like these are awesome, and here’s 4 reasons why your gifts and my special pen rock:
1) We got our gifts at the perfect time
I got my pen at the exact time I was in need! I needed to fill out my check, and BAM! There it was!
2) Our gifts were free
My pen didn’t cost me a dime. All I had to do is ask and it was given to me.
3) If we ever misplace our gifts, they are always waiting right where we left them
Any time I’ve misplaced my pen, I always come back to it. There have been times where I thought I lost my pen forever, but once I realized where I had left it, I picked it right back up and began to enjoy it again.
4) We show/tell everybody [about] our gift
I wanted to tell everyone about the awesome score that was made that day! For so long I wouldn’t shut up about it!
So why did I just spend the past 700+ words describing to you my experience of finding my pen? Because I really think that my pen, your special gifts, and Jesus have a lot in common. Go with me for a few. Let’s just use the 4 things that I just described about how awesome my pen is, and correlate them with Jesus.
**Disclaimer: This is where the “super christians” tune out and click on another webpage because they can’t believe that I just paralleled an ink pen to the Savior of the Universe. If that’s you, thanks for stopping by and getting to this point! Click HERE to be mystically taken away to another place in the interwebs. If you are still reading, thanks and let’s do this!**
Numero Uno: We got our gifts at the perfect time
“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.” [romans 5:6]
“‘In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.’ I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.” [2 corinthians 6:2]
At one point in my life, maybe you’ve been there as well, I was without hope, lacked purpose, and had no direction. I love the way christian rapper, Lecrae, puts it, “I was on my way to hell with a full tank.” I was living for myself and my glory, and when God stepped in, He changed my life in a way that I couldn’t turn back. I was in need, and He offered an intervention–a free gift of salvation through His son, Jesus.
Numero Dos: Our gifts were free
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–not by works, so that no one can boast.” [ephesians 2:8-9]
You see, since the time sin entered the world, there was a need for a savior. What was the savior saving us from? Honestly, ourselves. Even before Eve took that first bite of forbidden fruit then gave it to her husband, God knew that mankind was going to be the most selfish thing of all His creation. For centuries, people lived for themselves. In the Old Testament we see countless men and women that would come and help those who sought after God, but none of them had the power to ultimately stand in the gap between a sinful world and a saving God…until Jesus comes on the scene.
Paul states in Galatians 4:4-5 that, “When the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons.”(niv) OR, “When the proper time had fully come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born subject to [the regulations of] the Law, to purchase the freedom of (to ransom, to redeem, to atone for) those who were subject to the Law, that we might be adopted and have the sonship conferred upon us [and be recognized as God’s sons].” (amp)
Not only did Jesus give you a perfect example on how to live, He laid down his life on the cross as a ransom so that you wouldn’t have to pay the penalty of breaking the law (sin), which would be death. If that wasn’t enough, Jesus rose from the dead, conquering death, hell, and the grave, that you may have life and to give it to the fullest (John 10:10). Not only do you have a chance at a big life through Jesus on earth, but you can spend eternity with Him, never to leave His presence.
Because of what Jesus has done, you have this free gift of salvation. Let me say that again, free gift of salvation. Like Paul says above in his letter to the Ephesians, it’s FREE! I’ve kind of coined a phrase over the years, “If it’s free, it’s for me!” This is the best freebie yet. There’s nothing you have to lay down to get it. You just partake! Paul says in Romans that, “If you confess with your mouth that, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you WILL be saved.” What an awesome truth! God saves us, despite us. DANG.
Numero Tres: If we ever misplace our gifts, they are always waiting right where we left them
I’ve been a believer in Christ longer than I haven’t, and there have been more times than I would care to admit that I’ve left Jesus behind. Jesus is a perfect gentleman. He will never force Himself on you, but through the work of the Holy Spirit, will draw you back to Himself. Even when you leave Him, push Him away, turn your back on what He’s done for you, He’s still there.
Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” [matthew 28:20]
“‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.'” [hebrews 13:5]
Maybe you’ve ran or are running from God. Don’t. He loves you so much that He wants a relationship with you that is real and deep! Come back to Him. He’s there, not as a judge slamming a conviction on you or as someone pointing out your failure, but as a loving Father who is waiting on you to crawl back up in His lap, tell Him what you’ve done, and let Him mend and repair you from the inside out. Best yet, He looks at you and says the words that offer hope and encouragement…”I love YOU.” If you’re hiding, if you’re running, if you’re at a stalemate, come back to His arms. You know where to find him.
Numero cuatro (yeah buddy, 4 years of Spanish really paid off!): We show/tell everybody [about] our gift
God’s love, grace, and mercy shouldn’t be something that you keep to yourself, but something we tell everyone about! You shouldn’t keep it to yourself! In fact, scripture is pretty clear that we shouldn’t be quiet about it:
“Go into the world and preach the good news to all creation.” [mark 16:15]
“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one whom they have not heard? and how can they hear without someone preaching to them?” [romans 10:13-14]
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations…” [matthew 28:19]
“But I’ll be made fun of.” Perhaps.
“I could lose my friends.” Maybe.
“No one will listen.” Possibly.
It’s totally worth it, but you’ll never know unless you try it out for yourself…
What if today we got so excited about the free gift that God offered us in Jesus that we choose to brag on Him like we do our stuff? How different would life be? I think that’s all in how we look at it. If we treat Jesus like the best thing that has ever happened to us, who cares what people think! I told you my pen rocks, but Jesus rocks WAY more. And that’s what should blow you away.