A free baked steak dinner

This morning I browned 140 pieces of cubed steak – about 37 pounds!  It’s going to cook all day and will be super tender for our community dinner tonight.  We are hoping for 100 people for dinner.  The dinners are always free.  We do put a container out so people can make a donation to help pay for it, but there is nobody taking money or keeping track of who puts money in and who does not.  It truly is a free dinner, and we do it every Wednesday.  It is certainly not a fundraiser.  The money donated is just about enough to cover the cost of the dinners.  We probably average $2.25 a person, which means if one person puts in $5, the next person puts in nothing, which is fine.  It is a free dinner.

Compare that to some of my friends in Cancun this week on a trip with their direct sales company.  I know what a great time they are having because my wife Diane used to be in direct sales with Partylite.  I got to go with her on trips to Aruba, Hawaii, and the Atlantis in the Bahamas.  She also went to Cancun without me.  But make no mistake.  Those ladies in Cancun earned their trip, just like Diane earned hers/ours.  It was always stressful for Diane getting new people started, making sure sales were turned it, etc. to earn the trips.  They may call it a free trip, but it was earned.  If it was free, I would have joined them.  I did not join them because I did not earn it.

This is a parable of being saved by Jesus.  Nobody can earn their trip to heaven.  It is free.  And that is a difficult concept.  It would make more sense if we could earn salvation, but it is something you can not earn.  We must humble ourselves and accept God’s free grace.  You do not earn it, but you must receive it.

Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace,
Freely bestowed on all who believe!
You that are longing to see His face,
Will you this moment His grace receive?

Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin!

(lyrics from Grace Greater than our Sin)

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