I decided to clean out my desk today. The decision was born out of necessity. I couldn’t find my calculator—the one with the imitation jewel buttons, the gaudy one. As I dug things from the back of the drawer and from under a pile of wadded receipts, I didn’t find the calculator, but I found an old reward card offering a discount from a local hardware store.
Granted the discount wasn’t high in dollar value, but it looked like a good deal on a small purchase. If I spent $15 at the store, they would reward me with a $5 discount. Percentage wise, that’s a good bargainl. I set the card on the corner of the desk and planned to stick it in my wallet later.
But the card called to me. It was a small card, about the size of a driver’s license, but it was packed with information. I picked it up and several things stood out to me. My name was typed on the front. The people at Ace Hardware know me. They have my name and number— member number. Apparently, this wasn’t a random offer, but a promotion for a group they identified as their customers. By putting my name on the offer, the hardware store had made the ad personal and identified who was eligible.
Another important piece of information was that the card told me what the offer contained. Short, sweet, and to the point. Five dollars off my next purchase of $15 or more of regular priced merchandise. And the card told me where to redeem the offer. They included the address of the nearest Ace Hardware. Then I found a disappointing bit of type. The card had expired. It had lurked far too long among wads of paper and broken pencils.
As I tossed the card and several wornout pens into the trash, I compared the card to an offer God made. Just as the hardware store offered a reward to a group of people they identified as theirs, God has offered promises to His children. And He makes His offer personal. In 2 Chronicles 7:14, God says, “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (NIV) Notice that the forgiveness of sins and the healing of the land weren’t for everyone. It was for a select group.
Ace Hardware had told me that I had to do something if I wanted my five-dollar reward. A $15 purchase was necessary to activate the reward. Isn’t that what God said in the verse quoted above? Not the $15 part, but the condition. “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves . . . “ God outlined in this verse, and all His promises, what is required of us to gain what He has promised.
Ace Hardware told me where to find my five-dollar reward. Scripture tells us “the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: ‘Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.’” (Genesis 15:1 NIV) And Jesus stated, “Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven.” (Matthew 5:12 NIV)
The reward from the local store was a limited time offer. It’s no longer valid. Jesus told his disciples, “”Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come, “ and “So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” (Matthew 24:42, 44 NIV)
The local hardware store put the offer of their reward in writing, then waited for a response from me. The Holy Scriptures is God’s outline and offer of our reward. He put it in writing, both physically and spiritually upon our hearts. He is waiting for a response.
The Ace Hardware ad was a good marketing campaign. They included all the necessary information. However, God has a much better deal.
Ace has my customer id # on the card. They are offering it to their customers.
God offers his promises to His children.
Ace promises me a reward of $5, but I have to do something first – in this case spend more money.
With God, when he promises us something, you will find you must do something first, even if that condition is the act of belief.
Ace tells me where to find the local store. They tell me where I can get this reward.
God is our reward and our reward is in Heaven.
Ace won’t be offering this reward forever. They tell me I must act now, because it has an expiration date. Unfortunately for me, that date has come and gone. It’s too late to get in on this good deal.
God’s promise of rewards won’t last forever either. He doesn’t tell us the expiration date for us individually or as a whole. If I want in on His great promises, I need to act now.
Ace sent this notice to me in hopes of a response.
God sent a notice to me because He wants a response.
Ace wants money.
God wants me.
God Has a Better Deal – copyright 2009 Judy Vandiver