After each shopping adventure he would regale us with his tales of bargaining skill.
Reference: v.22 "'So you will be my people, and I will be your God.'" (NIV Bible)
Explore: Everyone likes a good bargain. A couple of years ago I went with a team of Aussies on a mission exposure trip to the Philippines. It was an eye opening experience as we met with many people living in slums and those participating in sponsorship programs. During our rest times we all enjoyed heading off to the shopping centres and markets to buy items for our friends and family. The Aussie dollar was doing well this year and so most items were quite a bit cheaper in the Philippians than what we could buy in Australia. There was one guy in our group however who was keen to get a great bargain wherever he went. After each shopping adventure he would regale us with his tales of bargaining skill. One night he reached his peak by getting a substantial item for 100 pesos less than the asking price. While this seemed impressive to begin with, we soon did the maths ourselves to discover that 100 pesos less was actually only $2.50 cheaper than the original price. And yet, while that didn't seem like a significant amount when you converted it into Australian dollars, it would actually have fed the sellers Filipino family with rice for 3 days. Hmm, didn't seem like such a good bargain any more.
Application: I read a quote once that said: One person's bargain is another person's burden. We always like to be on the bargain side but if that's the case then we're placing the burden onto someone else. When God was talking to the people of Judah in Jeremiah chapter 30 He was still willing to be there for them. They had rejected him so many times and turned away from Him and yet He was still willing to restore them and have compassion for them. It seems that when it comes to worshipping God we get the bargain and He gets the burden. There is nothing we can offer him but our brokenness. And yet God is still willing to trade with us. He'll take our repeated brokenness and in return we'll receive an endless supply of love and grace. How does that seem fair? It's not. That's God.
Prayer: Lord, You have always been willing to take the burden for us. May we be willing to enter into the transaction with You and open to receiving your gift of love and grace. Amen.
Do you need to accept an extra measure of God's love and grace today?
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This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.