How Much Is Free?

January 23, 2007
by Karen Lynema

John 8:34-36 – Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." (NIV)

Luke 14:28 – Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? (NIV)

My mother told me that when I was a small girl, I had a hard time figuring out what "free" meant. I would ask, "How much is 'free'?" Everything has to "cost" something, right?

Now that I am a grown-up, I appreciate "free". I like a bargain. I also understand that sometimes something can appear to be free, but have hidden costs. An e-mail message claims to give that desired item for free, but in the small print it states that to earn the gift, many "offers" need to be completed first.

There are many things that we can do that are free in terms of monetary cost — like showing appreciation and giving encouragement. They may cost a little time and effort, but the rewards ripple into others' lives, and we feel good as well.

Jesus offers us the most real free deal of all. Grace, mercy, understanding, and everlasting life are all ours for the asking. If we ask how free Jesus wants us to be, He'll reply with His arms open wide as He did on the cross. "This much!"

Psalm 118:5 – In my anguish I cried to the Lord, and he answered by setting me free. (NIV)

Ephesians 2:8-10 – For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (NIV)

Prayer: God, thank You that we don't have to ask You how much "free" is. You freely offer everything You have to us, not because we're good enough or on account of anything we do, but because You love us enough to cover any costs for us. Help us to not be afraid to ask that You set us free, today! Amen.

About the author:

Karen Lynema
Allendale, Michigan, USA

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