I rarely watch daytime television, but every six months when I go to the dentist The Price is Right is already showing on the screen above the patient chair. Since I don’t know what else is on and I don’t want to flip channels and extend my appointment, I leave it.
Whenever I see it, I wonder once again if excessive amounts of caffeine are required before the show begins to induce the level of excitement (screaming and jumping around) exhibited by the audience—and especially the contestants. Last week, one woman even looked as if she might hyperventilate.
But as I watched, I had a new thought…what if we started our days with even just an ounce of that energy? Not the jumping around and screaming so much, but the enthusiasm to see what might happen.
What would that look like?
* A positive outlook of what the day might bring.
* The desire to see what God has planned for us.
* The willingness to step up, out of our comfort zones, to follow where God leads.
What is the Good News? You have been forgiven! – stirred the same excitement as You could win a brand new car!
Whether it’s the anticipation of the game or the longing to hear your name called, The Price is Right has been around for a long time.
But, the new life we have in Jesus has been around much longer and it will never end. There will never be a change in hosts, and we don’t have to wait around hoping to be called up to the stage.
And…we don’t have to work to earn a prize because Jesus has already done the work. He has already been the sacrifice. He has already given us the way back to God.
Once and for all, Jesus has conquered sin and death. He calls us to Him every day and God’s love and grace can’t be taken away.
Winning on a game show and earning our five minutes of fame might be fun and exciting, and that’s okay. But, what Jesus gives is joyful and everlasting.
He’s there when the days are not fun and fame is a burden.
He’s with us when we don’t think we can walk through the hardest of situations.
He doesn’t leave us when we make bad choices and hurt ourselves and others.
And He doesn’t walk away or shoo us off stage when we don’t have the correct answers and we don’t know what to do next.
And that’s something to look forward to every day.
Just a Few Energizing Verses for Every Day
John 3:16-17 NIV
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
“But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.” (- Jesus Christ) Luke 6:35
If you want to get a little taste of what God is like, try loving your enemies, lending money to those you know won’t pay you back, and then try being kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. What does this do to one’s sense of justice and fairness? What could this possibly be about? Jesus can’t be serious about this, can he?
Here’s what I think. I think Jesus is getting us to think this way because he wants us to see something important about ourselves.
After all, what are we thinking here… that we are God’s friends, that we always pay back what we borrow, and that we are most certainly grateful and holy, and that’s why it’s so hard for us to understand why God would ask us, the holy ones, to be kind to all these wicked and ungrateful folks? Gee, somehow we’re going to have to find it in ourselves to love these awful people. But I suppose that if God can do it, we can too. It will be a stretch, but we will try… Is that what this is about?
Hardly. Here’s what I think it means:
There is relatively little difference between the most ungrateful, wicked people I can think of and me, and I had better be deeply grateful that God is, in fact, “unfair” in this way, because otherwise there would be no hope for me. I know this is what Jesus is saying because the very next verse is: “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful [to you].” And that is followed up with: “Do not judge and you will not be judged.” See where He’s going with this?
When you look at it this way, it changes the whole picture.
Love your enemies and be kind to those who, like you, have received the kindness of God when you didn’t deserve it. And if you are ever tempted to think of God as being unfair, then go all the way and rejoice in the glorious inequity of grace that has made unlikely room for you and me, and in that same spirit of “unfairness,” make room in your heart for others.