Optional Equipment

spareI was troubled some years ago when car manufacturers quit including a spare tire as standard equipment on a new car. Instead, the true spare was replaced by the so-called ‘donut’ which is a cheap little thing you hope will get you to a service center. If I was upset by the absence of a spare tire, imagine my dismay when I accidentally discovered my newest car didn’t even have a ‘donut’!

I was made aware of my predicament when a man at an auto service center crawled out from under my nearly new car and said, “Did you know you don’t have a spare?” When I responded that I knew my car was only equipped with a donut, he said, “No. No. There is no donut in the holder where it should be.”

I called the dealer where I purchased the car and was basically told, “You should have read the fine print.” My car had been provided with little more than an aerosol can of ‘fix-a-flat’. I was told a ‘donut’ is now considered optional equipment! I asked, “What if I have a blow-out?” Answer: “Guess you are in trouble.”

There are many things in the physical world that have a counterpart in the spiritual realm. There is a term in use in the spiritual domain today called “cheap grace”. It refers to a faux religious experience that costs little, if anything, in terms of commitment, devotion, or service to the Lord and fellowman. These things – including Bible reading, prayer, involvement with a body of believers, and giving financially to help win the lost to God – are considered optional. Everything seems alright until suddenly a dreadful event happens, and you are not prepared to deal with it. It’s like having a blow out at night on a lonely highway. Only then do you discover there is no spare. All that can be said is, “I guess you are in trouble”.

May I suggest to any among us who may be living in a state of ‘cheap grace’ that we check our readiness for the unexpected. Scripture implores us to “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves” (2 Corinthians 13:5, ESV). Hear the words of Jesus: “Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.  For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.  For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?” (Luke 9:23-25, NKJV). It costs something to be a disciple.

Strong faith is not optional if we want to safely arrive in Heaven.

~ Brother Roy

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