Today’s Reading: Acts 2:38-39 (NKJV)
38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is to all and to all your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.
When I was a little girl, my mother would take us shopping for school clothes in the spring time, when the winter clearance sales would begin. She insisted we buy a size or two larger than what we actually wore. We would fill our shopping cart up with tennis shoes, socks, undergarments, gym shorts, jumpers and pretty print blouses. Mother would then walk to the back of the store and place every item we selected on top of the will call counter. A very happy store clerk would be there to greet us. She seemed to know my mother on a first-name basis. After ringing up our purchases, she placed the merchandise in large bags with a “sold” sticker and our last name against the back wall of the store. Handing my mother a receipt, the clerk would whisper the total amount she had promised to pay and the time frame she had to pay the debt in full. During the course of the summer, my mother would stop in to the will call counter, paying regularly on her account. When it was time to go back to school, my mother would make the final payment on the amount owed and we would have a whole new wardrobe of clothes to last us throughout the next school year. What a blessing it was to have new clothes that fit to wear back to school!
It was the Father’s perfect layaway plan that made provision for all who would choose to follow Christ in the days to come. His Son, Jesus Christ, paid the ultimate price for humanity’s sin, from the very first man to the last. He spilled His blood to cover the sins that plague generations of people from here to eternity. It is His good will to pay for all, our parents and grandparents, our children and grandchildren, and their children too, and to all who may be far off today – as many as the Lord will call into relationship with Him.
Like any good layaway plan, God knew there would be a day when we would grow beyond anything the world could possibly offer. We would one day long to find the One who creates our innermost being, who loves us with a love that will not let us go. God knew we would need a larger garment to cover our ever-seeking hearts. Jesus Christ became the purchase price on the will call counter of life, shedding His precious blood just so that one day, we could be redeemed from the back of the store. Our Father knew that the world would need a great layaway plan, so He provided His very best – He gave us His only Son.
Back to school time is just around the corner. Your layaway has already been purchased and it is waiting for pickup today. There is an eternal gift just for you at the Lord’s will call counter. Your name is in His book and your ticket has already been purchased. All you need to do to redeem it is ask.
Grace and peace,
Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO
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