We all love to save a few bucks on a deal right? I’ll bet that you bargain with the salesman every time you walk into a store to but something big…or small. No matter how good you think the deal already is, you will still bargain. The bottom line is, you want things cheap. After all, why pay a few rands extra for something when you know you can make a saving.
It’s very unfortunate that you have brought that same attitude into your Christian life. Think of how many times you have tried to bargain with God. When God said, “I want your whole heart.”, you said, “Whole heart? Come on Lord, at least leave me with one third of it!” When God says, “I want all your attention.” You say, “Come on Lord, you can’t really mean that, can you? do you? All my attention?!” You see, you and many Christians all around the world always try to bargain with God. Is it any wonder then that we accomplish so little for him? Is it any wonder then that we don’t get everything that his word says we could have? We are master at giving our Lord tokens. We give him a token of time. We give him a token of money. We given him a token of energy. We give him a token of heart. We give him tokens and we think that we’re doing all right in serving him and glorifying him.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer said this as he speaks of discipleship and how much we bargained our way out of it, making it cheap. This is what he says, “Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession, absolution without personal confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.
Costly grace is the treasure hidden in the field; for the sake of it a man will gladly go and sell all that he has. It is the pearl of great price to buy which the merchant will sell all his goods. It is the kingly rule of Christ, for whose sake a man will pluck out the eye which causes him to stumble, it is the call of Jesus Christ at which the disciple leaves his nets and follows him. Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again, the gift has to be asked for, the door at which one must knock. It is costly, because it calls to discipleship; it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly, because it costs people their lives; it is grace, because it thereby makes them live. It is costly, because it condemns sin; it is grace, because it justifies the sinner. Above all, grace is costly, because it was costly to God, because it cost God the life of God’s Son – “You were bought with a price” – and because nothing can be cheap to us which is costly to God.” (Discipleship)
Look at yourself the next time God wants you to do something. See how you bargain with him. You always want to pay half the price or less. Look at your circle of “Christians”, see how they too bargain with God. This is nothing new, but in the Twenty First Century Christianity is becoming dangerously close to being just a fad. It’s not a relationship with our Lord and Saviour anymore, we’ve turned it into a relationship with our ‘salesman”.
You can make a difference today, by giving our Lord everything. No half measures. No half confessions. No half circles in repentance. No half energy. No half wealth. No half time. No half heart. Don’t bargain with our Lord about how you can get out of something instead start asking him how you can get into something. Wouldn’t it be great if Christians stopped being cheapskates and started giving God exactly what he wants.