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Two for One?
Two for one
Who doesn't appreciate a bargain? You go anywhere now and you're likely to see deals such as this, two for one. It just so happened that as I was in the grocery store last week and walking through the snack aisle, there it was “Two for one!”
Buy one bag at regular price and get second bag free, fantastic deal, don't you think so?
Well, actually, I did not think so, in fact I thought this was a deal that would leave me with a couple less dollars and few extra pounds, well not so much pounds, but my point is,” the deal here, was only a deal if you had many mouths to feed.”
There is that old saying “A moment on the lips, and a lifetime on the hips” Can you relate how being impulsive in a moment can lead to a lifetime of improper choices?
Today I want us all to think like salespeople, except we're not actually selling a product, we're laying a foundation for change. Now the best salespeople in the world are unable to sell a product successfully if they believe it to be flawed. And if only a fad, you may sell a billion today, but tomorrow the crowd has moved on to the next big thing.
God's prophet, Isaiah, had something to say about durable over the fashionable news and the need to share with others, in Isaiah 40: 8-9 he says:
8 The grass withers and the flowers fall,
but the word of our God endures forever.”
9 You who bring good news to Zion,
go up on a high mountain.
You who bring good news to Jerusalem,
lift up your voice with a shout,
lift it up, do not be afraid;
say to the towns of Judah,
“Here is your God!”
and here's the pitch...
In the days of St. Paul and while he was in Athens, a people was about to be educated that one is definitely better than a twofer or multiples, as far as God is concerned, and so Paul laid this foundation as spoken in the book of Acts, chapter 17, verses 18 -28 all scripture is the (NIV)
18 A group of Epicurean and Stoic philosophers began to debate with him. Some of them asked, “What is this babbler trying to say?” Others remarked, “He seems to be advocating foreign gods.” They said this because Paul was preaching the good news about Jesus and the resurrection. 19 Then they took him and brought him to a meeting of the Areopagus, where they said to him, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? 20 You are bringing some strange ideas to our ears, and we would like to know what they mean.” 21 (All the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there spent their time doing nothing but talking about and listening to the latest ideas.)
22 Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: “People of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. 23 For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: to an unknown god. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship—and this is what I am going to proclaim to you.
24 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. 26 From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. 27 God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. 28 ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.
Perhaps God endowed Paul with the tongue of a salesman, but more likely, Paul was filled with Spirit and had found his strength in the LORD, and now spoke boldly and without fear of mankind.
One strike against us already
Thinking of salespeople, I think of Billy Mays. His demeanor and his to the point messages, coupled with good products, allowed him to persuade millions to try “Oxiclean” and the like.
Perhaps you may not remember the announcer, but a product that practically sold its self was the “Ginsu” knife. You may recall how that knife was able to cut through a tin can and then cut tomatoes paper thin.
Well I'm here, standing before you to say that God's word can cut through bars of iron and still be sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow and as far as cleansing stains goes, God's word says “although you wash yourself with soap and use an abundance of cleansing powder, the stain of your guilt is still before me,” declares the Sovereign LORD. Jeremiah 2:22
Psalm 51:2 says; Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. The Psalmist is not talking about “Oxiclean” here! We need Jesus to do that, to wash away our sins.
Sales tactics; sales tactics or strategies are used to get the consumer to buy. They may be scare tactics or bargains, they may set limits on quantities of how many you can buy. None of these tactics will convince us to follow Christ. Winning souls for God is never solely ours to achieve, what we do is lead others to the finish, God closes the deal himself through our belief in a promise.
What do you want from God? … replies?
I thought about this question myself for some time; “What do I want from God?” The answer I came up with is security, I want to know I will be cared for.
Faith will take me there!
Recently, in the past year, I shared a message that was pressing to me. Although I wrote the message, and though I may have be wrong in thought, I wrote “It is only by sharing our faith in God with others that we truly get to Heaven.”
The message may have been given through me, but I felt inspired by God to write and to share it. Imagine how awful I felt, when I was told that I had preached about “works” getting us to Heaven.
Sure, that may sound like what I was saying, but the Bible advocates that every believer should not be ashamed of the gospel, and that a true believer will indeed share their faith.
Yesterday, as I was looking at various sales tactics and doing some research on the internet, I came across a website called “Reserve a Spot in Heaven.”
I could not believe that someone would actually be so bold as to try and sell you a reservation to a place you can't earn or buy into, and yet there it was.
A mere $12.79 plus $2.00 shipping and handling, would buy you (one) Essential Travel Kit.
I'm sorry, but I did not see any two for one specials, although, if we contact them they will give us more information regarding large group rates, but they recommend you get them while they are available.
Did God say we have to buy our way into Heaven?
I believe He said in the book of Acts, chapter 8, verses 18-23:
18 And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, 19 saying, “Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”
20 But Peter said to him, “Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money! 21 You have neither part nor portion in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God. 22 Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you. 23 For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity.”
Reserve a spot?
Keep your eyes open for God
A love too consuming, a love of anything that places God as an after thought, will eventually succeed in distancing you from the love of God. It is true that nothing can separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus. But have we entered into a covenant with the LORD, have we opened that door?
Just as salespeople used to and sometimes still go door to door, have we opened that door yet?
Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. Revelation 3:20 (KJV)