A number of years ago my parents had the opportunity to visit the fascinating land of India. Their tour guide (and good friend) happened to be a former missionary who served in that country for many years.
As you might guess, while in India they took some time to do some serious shopping! Now shopping in India is quite the experience. It is probably comparable to the kind of shopping you’d do in Mexico from what I’ve heard. You never pay the asking price.
While the women were busy shopping and chopping my dad decided to have a look around.
A plaque behind the sales counter caught his eye. It read:
You ask credit
I no give
You get mad
I give credit
You no pay
I get mad
Better you get mad
At that time my dad operated a small tire shop on his farm so he thought that this little sign would make an excellent addition to his office collection.
“I want it,” my dad told the owner, pointing at the plaque.
“Not for sale!” came the reply.
I really don’t think that the owner had it for sale. It was a message that he wanted his customers to see.
“But I want it!” dad said again.
The man was even more forceful this time as he repeated his answer, “Not for sale!”
Dad backed off. The ladies made their purchases and they were almost ready to leave. Dad still had his eye on that plaque.
Then, as my dad looked on, the shop owner climbed onto a chair, he reached up and removed the plaque. He brought it over and handed it to my dad!
He said, “Here, not for sale!”
It was a gift! That plaque hung in the shop office where my dad put it for probably 40 years.
Dad’s story reminds me of another gift that is “not for sale!” I’m talking about the gift of salvation. You can’t buy it. You can’t work for it. You can’t steal it. All you can do is receive this gift by faith. It is an insult to God to think that anyone would try to pay for something freely given in love.
Ephesians 2:8,9 says, “Because of his kindness you have been saved through trusting Christ. And even trusting is not of yourselves; it too is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good we have done, so none of us can take any credit for it.”
Do you have your eye on this free gift? One thing is for sure, the owner wants you to have it!