Would You Accept a FREE GIFT From a Friend? What About From God?

A friend of mine has recently been sick for almost a week. He’s had a hard time sleeping, been vomiting and been weak. He’s been toughing it out, though. He told me several of his extended family members have the flu. He texted me and told me that his wife finally told him she was going to take him to the doctor when he got home. Then he informed me that he had neither insurance nor the money. I sympathize because I don’t have insurance either.
I called my wife and she agreed that we would help him pay for it. He didn’t text me back right away, so I wrote and asked him if that was agreeable so we could make plans for later. He thanked me very sincerely, but declined the help in a way that I incorrectly perceived meant he found another way to pay for it. That was that. The next day, Saturday, I was thinking about him and texted him (because I thought he might be sleeping most of the day) to see if he had gone to the doctor and if he was feeling okay. He responded that he did not go, but was feeling a little better.
I was lovingly firm with him, but asked him if that wasn’t being stupid. I reminded him of how he had a need, how God had put it on my heart to help him while we were able and that he didn’t need to be proud, but to accept the help the Father was willing to give him in whatever manner He chose to give it. I told him about the scripture in the Bible (James 4:6) which reads, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” He again expressed his gratitude, admitted that maybe he was being a little prideful, but explained that now that his life was getting a little more in order- himself as well- he only likes to ask for help as a last option. I know that’s a very common attitude, but I got to thinking how, because of Jesus’ work in my life, I now gladly accept gifts- monetary or otherwise- from people whether I actually need it or not. My mother is very generous to us and we’re adults. We praise God that He chooses to bless us and that she is the willing vessel He uses! They are unexpected blessings from God! Am I only going to receive if I have need? Hopefully not; that would be foolish. I will gladly accept the gift, be extremely grateful to my abundantly generous Heavenly Father, and put it to good use. By denying the blessing of God (through us), my friend continues to suffer unnecessarily.
This is a very real, practical, earthly example of what nearly everyone in the world does today. Almighty God long ago sent His Son (who is God) Jesus Christ the Messiah to the earth with the sole purpose of dying in our place to pay the price of death our sins warranted—all so that we would have an otherwise impossible opportunity to be reconciled to the Creator of the universe; that is, to go from being sinful enemies of God to being a cleansed people He calls His own.
We are born into the world with a deadly disease, a sinful nature. Man’s sins and God’s holiness are like oil and water. They cannot mix. They cannot share the same space. Heaven is perfect, blameless and sinless, and nothing which is imperfect or sinful can enter. We are sick. Actually, worse. The Bible says that we are dead in our sins. If nothing changes, we will die in that same state and our eternal fate is Hell. Our souls do not have life, even while we are alive in the world, if our sins have not been paid for. God, as the righteous Judge, deems us worthy of death. Since He, Himself, is Life anything unlike Him without holiness experiences physical death and eternal, spiritual death.
Like my friend in need of a doctor’s or a friend’s help, mankind desperately needs the Father’s help, compassion, mercy, forgiveness and salvation. Yet, we do one of two things: we either choose another path to God- what we think is an option, but it is not. God has said in His perfection that the only path to Him is through His Son Jesus. We think if we are good enough (whatever that standard might be even if it were true, and we ourselves don’t even know), we can somehow obtain eternity in Heaven. Many people across the globe opt for false religion such as Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Secularism, Pantheism, Humanism, “Christian” Science, Scientology, Mormonism, et al. Or, equally bad and fatal, they choose atheism (pretending or living under the delusion that there is no God, accountability or judgment) or agnosticism, neither accepting or denying belief in God and the need to answer for and to deal with the sin in our lives.
You see the parallel? We are sick. We have a need. God provides the solution. And we say “No, thank you, we’ll get by on our own.” It doesn’t work that way. 1 Corinthians 1:18 says, “For the word of the Cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” Proverbs 14:12 and 16:25 say, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” John 10:10 records the very words of Jesus who is Life, “…I came that they may have life (in God) and have it abundantly.” The choice is really what we, today, would call a “no-brainer.” Are you living foolishly and going your own way, sick and dying in sin? Or wisely, taking the free gift and receiving healing and eternal life? The time to choose is winding down. I hope you choose wisdom over foolishness, life over sickness and death. I am praying for you.

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