Buy None Get One Free!

Come one, come all, one persons junk is another person’s treasure! It was apparent by the stream of lookie Louis, that the local residents of the community had all set their clocks so that they would all make it to the annual community yard sale on time. This particular event provided people with a way to practice their business sense, their barder skills and a great excuse to clean out their garages.

The Pointe of our participation in this particular community event was not so that we could sell treasures, practice our business skills or even clean out our garages. As a body of Christ followers, preparing to launch a new church on the grounds we were standing on, our goal was to connect with the very people in our community, the very people we live life with day in and day out, and that is precisely what we did.

As the sun came beating down hard and the day quickly warmed up. We were prepared to fill a need that our pastor had anticipated on. Ice-cold waters were just waiting to be handed out to anyone willing to except the free gift of a cold “cup of water.”

While we stood their in the hot summer morning, black top warming up beneath our feet, we offered ice cold bottled water to those passing buy, no charge, a simple gift offered to our community. I was genuinely amazed at how many people, who were obviously thirsty, passed up on the of ice-cold water. What was even more amazing is that some people were willing to pay for it, when we explained to them that it was a free gift, they just could not bring themselves to taking the ice-cold water. At one point, someone even forced some money into the palm of my hands, she would not have anything to do with a free gift, and she seemed offended at the mere offer.

As I stood back with the sun on my face and the warmth on my body, grabbing a bottle of cold water for myself, grateful that I didn’t have to go very far to quench my own thirst. All I could think about was how crazy it seemed, not only were we offering free water, that is great in itself but also one could turn around and turn the plastic bottle in for hard cold cash, granted it would not be much but still, free water, free cash, all it would cost someone is a simple yes.

I found myself feeling a little rejected by the whole thing and wondering how people could pass up such an offer and as I shared with my pastor one word stuck out that he said “pride.” It cut me like a knife, I cannot tell you how many times my pride has been a factor in me not excepting a helping hand, not wanting to appear weak or helpless, I would just spiritually become dehydrated due to the “P” word. I would pass up rest, help and direction, wanting to do it on my own.

My soul quickly shrunk back and I suddenly saw how much I had put myself on a pedestal with the “how could you?’, I jumped off, and allowed the Lord to speak into my heart about the free gift of Salvation that He offers all through His son and how for years I couldn’t just take it like the water, I thought it was something I had to work for, struggle and buy. Little did I realize that not only was I offered living water, like the bottle but my life would be redeemed, I could be recycled and used for something entirely different, just like the water bottle, but only after I said yes to the gift.

What’s The Pointe? All around us, in our communities and beyond there are people who have bought into the lie that nothing is free. We have an opportunity as a body of believers to stomp out this lie, to reach past the perception of deception, push through, and pour out to those who want to reject the message and what it has to offer, streams of living water and rest from the everyday burden of living.

Yesterday I witnessed first hand the wearing of HIM well, as one of my pastor’s greeted, listened and reached out to those passing by our tables of treasures. When someone refused the water, he simply smiled, and continued doing what he does best, greeting, connecting and inquiring about the other person. He never acted rejected, offended or even insulted.

Buy none get one free! Have you ever heard of such a deal? A life filled with living water and rest for the weary is what I believe was planted yesterday as God allowed us as a body to reach out to our community. I believe a seed was planted yesterday in our community as we were intentionally present; we saw a need and filled it something as simple as a cup of cold water, doing as Jesus did.

Points to ponder:

1. How can we be an example of living water to a dry and weary community?
2. What would happen if we took the redemption of people as serious as we take the redemption of products?
3. What are some ways we can wear HIM well even when the message is rejected?
4. Remember, Christ came to redeem us and offer us so much more then just freedom.

Prayer Point:
Dear Daddy,
Thank you so much for giving us living water, thank you for pointing us towards the way to freedom. Help us be a body of believers willing to pour out from the depths of our souls, filled with gratitude every time we get to serve. I pray for our community and the leaders who have chosen to say yes to the call. I lift them up to you today and I thank you that you promise that a faithful man will be ritually blessed. I thank you that for the redemptive power that speaks through each of those who have stepped up to the call. Help us to have a humble heart, to have your eyes and ears to hear the cry of your people. Let us remember to wear you well wherever we go. In your Jesus Name, Amen!

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."
Matthew 11:28

Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “if anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.
John 7:37-38


Jill said...

Cris, great words! And ones that have really made me think. I know I can wonder why some don't want to receive, but when I reverse the tables it makes sense. Like Renee said at She Speaks, "our determination drives us to give but God created us to receive." Wow how true, but how difficult at times, especially in a world that is based on give and take. It seems we are taught to keep things even, so free gifts don't make much sense. Growing up I thought salvation was something I had to earn and lived in a constant attempt to do just that and at times that mindset and those tendancies can return. But Christ has paid the price and there's nothing we need to do or anything for us to purchase, the gift is free. Wow that is amazing!! Thanks for creating some good thoughts today, Jill

cautious1 said...

Great post! I love the analogies that you draw as to how we reject God at times and the idea of the gift of living water. Thanks for your great insight. I always enjoy reading your blog.