No Charge

Saturday, May 13, 2023
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Listen while you read: "Praise The Lord Ye Heavens Adore Him"1 (Lyrics)

Revelation 10:8-10 – Then the voice that I had heard from heaven spoke to me again, saying, "Go, take the scroll that is open in the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and on the land." So I went to the angel and told him to give me the little scroll, and he said to me, "Take it and eat; it will be bitter to your stomach but sweet as honey in your mouth." So I took the little scroll from the hand of the angel and ate it; it was sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it my stomach was made bitter. (NRSV)

I came to get my car from my neighbourhood mechanic and asked, "What's the charge today?"

"No charge," he immediately replied.

Now, that was good news, since I had expected a hefty bill for my 14-year-old car.

"That's hard to believe," I said, "with all the problems I've had."

"I don't charge for bad news," he responded and went on to tell me that my vehicle was beyond repair, could not be fixed safely, and would not pass inspection.

No charge!

What I received at first as sweet news quickly soured in my stomach and was bitter news indeed.

But it was news that I needed to hear! My car was unsafe. My car could be dangerous for me and to others. I needed to heed the warning or face the consequences.

The gospel is good news and as sweet as honey in the mouth of someone ready to heed it. But it turns sour in the stomach of someone not ready to hear, like Augustine before his conversion, who cried out in prayer, "Lord, make me chaste [sexually pure] — but not yet!" When the gospel is ignored, the consequences are eternal in nature. Too many parables and sayings of Jesus, like the parable of the sheep and the goats (Matthew 25:31-46), for example, tell us of the costs of ignoring the good news. But the news is still good news and is given to avoid future ruin.

The gospel is good news — no charge! Do you welcome the free gift of God's grace into your life, or are you still at the "not yet" moment?

Prayer: God, there is news that doesn't feel good that comes to us through the circumstances of life. There is news that is hard to swallow and yet is meant for our well-being. Help us to receive the good news of Jesus Christ and to be transformed by His love and care for us. Amen.

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About the author:

Kenn Stright <>
West Petpeswick, Nova Scotia, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:


    Amen, Kenn.

    Like this one.

    Great post Kenn, lots to think about there. God bless!

    Thank you for sharing….brings clarity to these verses.

    Yes, the gospel is Good News, but it goes with responsibility to spread the Good News.

    All too many have been there Kenn. Thanks for the reminder .. all bad news is not really bad news. Blessings.

    What an inspiring and important message to pass on. I’m sure that there is no one reading this who will not find the analogy of your car so very apt. Thank you.

    Kenn – this definitely hit close to home, as I also have a car from 2009.
    The application you made rings true. Thank you for discernment that is a blessing to others.

    Good words and good advice in your devotional today Kenn. Yes, following the words of Jesus will definitely bring sweetness to our daily lives and for that we need be very thankful. Blessings for your writings.

    Love it!
    The bitterness of losing a son, adoring husband and father of two, has been sweetened by the blessing of bounteous comfort from God and rich times of togetherness with family and (real) friends!
    Bless you for this Daily Devotional!

    Oh Kenn, Your experience reminds me of the time when my last car bit the dust, so to speak. It too was beyond repair! Thus, I signed the paperwork to buy my current car which ought to last me until the powers that be yank my license due to age. Thank God, when our bodies wear out, He has a place and new body for us! Blessings.

    A very interesting devotional and a great mechanic. Your points are very clear and it definitely gives us lots to ponder about the different situations that come in our faith journey.
    Thanks for sharing and hope you are enjoying your new car. May you continue to look at situations from a faith perspective. Blessings.

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