The Price | Motivating and Inspiring

The Price

In that place between wakefulness and dreams, I found myself in the room. There were no distinguishing features save for the one wall covered with small index card files. They were like the ones in libraries that list titles by author or subject in alphabetical order. But these files, which stretched from floor to ceiling and seemingly endlessly in either direction, had very different headings.

As I drew near the wall of files, the first to catch my attention was one that read "Girls I Have Liked". I opened it and began flipping through the cards. I quickly shut it, shocked to realize that I recognized the names written on each one.

And then without being told, I knew exactly where I was. This lifeless room with its small files was a crude catalog system for my life. Here were written the actions of my every moment, big and small, in a detail my memory couldn't match.

A sense of wonder and curiosity, coupled with horror, stirred within me as I began randomly opening files and exploring their content. Some brought joy and sweet memories; others a sense of shame and regret so intense that I would look over my shoulder to see if anyone was watching. A file named "Friends" was next to one marked "Friends I Have Betrayed".

The titles ranged for the mundane to the outright weird. "Books I Have Read", "Lies I Have Told", "Comfort I Have Given", Jokes I Have Laughed At". Some were almost hilarious in their exactness: "Things I've Yelled at My Brothers". Others I couldn't laugh at: "Things I Have Done In My Anger", "Things I Have Muttered Under My Breath at My Parents". I never ceased to be surprised by the contents. Often there were many more cards than I expected. Sometimes fewer than I hoped.

I was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of the life I had lived. Could it be possible that I had the time in my 20 years to write each of these thousands or even millions of cards? But each card confirmed this truth. Each was written in my own hand writing. Each signed with my signature.

When I pulled out the file marked "Songs I Have Listened To", I realized the files grew to contain their contents. The cards were packed tightly, and yet after two or three yards, I hadn't found the end of the file. I shut it, shamed, not so much by the quality of music, but more by the vast amount of time I knew that file represented.

When I came to a file marked "Lustful Thoughts", I felt a chill run through my body. I pulled the file out an inch, not willing to test its size, and drew out a card. I shuddered at its detailed content. I felt sick to think that such a moment had been recorded. An almost animal rage broke on me. One thought dominated my mind: "No one must ever see these cards! No one must ever see this room! I have to destroy them!"

In an insane frenzy I yanked the file out. Its size didn't matter now. I had to empty it and burn the cards. But as I took it at one end and began pounding it on the floor, I could not dislodge a single card. I became desperate and pulled out a card, only to find it as strong as steel when I tried to tear it.

Defeated and utterly helpless, I returned the file to its slot. Leaning my forehead against the wall, I let out a long, self-pitying sigh. And then I saw it. The title bore "People I Have Shared the Gospel With". The handle was brighter than those around it, newer, almost unused. I pulled on its handle and a small box not more than three inches long fell into my hands. I could count the cards it contained on one hand.

And then the tears came. I began to weep. Sobs so deep that the hurt started in my stomach and shook through me. I fell on my knees and cried. I cried out of shame, from the overwhelming shame of it all. The rows of file shelves swirled in my tear-filled eyes. No one must ever, ever know of this room. I must look it up and hide the key. But then as I pushed away the tears, I saw Him. No, please not Him. Not here.

Oh, anyone but Jesus. I watched helplessly as He began to open the files and read the cards. I couldn't near to watch His response. And in the moments I could bring myself to look at His face, I saw a sorrow deeper that my own. He seemed to intuitively go to the worst boxes. Why did He have to read every one?

Finally, He turned and looked at me from across the room. He looked at me with pity in His eyes. But this was a pity that didn't anger me. I dropped my head, covered my face with my hands and began to cry again. He walked over and put His arm around me. He could have said so many things. But He didn't say a word.

He just cried with me.

Then He got up and walked back to the wall of files. Starting at one end of the room, He took out a file and, one by one, began to sign His name over mine on each card.

"No!" I shouted rushing to Him. All I could find to say was "No, no," as I pulled the card from Him. His name shouldn't be on these cards. But there it was, written in red so rich, so dark, so alive. The name of Jesus covered mine.

It was written with His blood.

He gently took the card back. He smiled a sad smile and began to sign the cards. I don't think I'll ever understand how He did it so quickly, but the next instant it seemed I heard Him close the last file and walk back to my side. He placed His hand on my shoulder and said, "It is finished."

I stood up, and He led me out of the room. There was no lock on its door. There were still cards to be written.

The Price has been Paid by Him. All He asks for is Love.

How do I get to Heaven? How do I receive eternal Life?

Know these things to be true and biblical.........

1) Heaven is a free gift.

Rom 6:23 "The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is everlasting life through Jesus Christ our Lord."

2) Man is sinful...

Rom 3:23 "...For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."

...and cannot save himself.

Eph 2:8-9 "By God's grace are you saved through faith, it is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works lest any man should boast."

Prv 14:25 "There is a way which seems right to man, but in the end it leads to death."

3) God is a loving God...

1 John 1:14 "...God is love."

Jer. 33:3 "...for I have loved you with an everlasting love."

...but He is also holy and must punish sin.

Exodus "He will by no means clear the guilty."

4) This certain punishment for sin, in all of us, is solved in the person of Jesus Christ...

John 3:16 "For God so loved the world He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever should believe on Him should not perish but have everlasting life."

...who laid down His life as the perfect sacrifice to pay the penalty of sin for us all.

Isaiah 56 "All we like sheep have gone astray, each has gone his own way. But He laid on Him (Jesus) the iniquity of us all."

God's grace has been defined thusly: "GRACE"= God's Riches At Christ's Expense

The last words spoken by Christ on the cross were..."It is finished...the debt is paid"

How is this gift of eternal life received?

5) By placing your trust and faith in Jesus Christ as your personal savior.

What kind of faith is saving faith? Faith is not an intellectual ascent or understanding of the historical facts of the life of Jesus or that He was a man who walked the earth. Saving faith is also not a crisis faith, where you get in a jam and call on God for a temporary help...then when the crisis is over...so goes your dependence and need for God.

Saving faith is trusting in Jesus Christ alone for salvation and eternal life. Not your own good works or what you can do...but trusting in what Jesus Christ has already done and settled for all of eternity in the heart of the living God.

Rev. 2:19 Jesus said, "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If any man hears my voice and opens the door...I will come in and dine with him and he with me." (Jesus will come in and become part of you by His Holy Spirit.)

What do you do now? Do you sincerely want to receive the gift of eternal life?

The Bible says..."If you believe in your heart and confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord, you will be saved."..."For He (God) is faithful and just to forgive you of all sin."

All you have to do is pray this simple prayer...

Dear God, I am a sinner. I acknowledge that I cannot save myself. I thank you that you sent Jesus to die on a cross to pay the penalty for my sins. I believe that He is your Son and that he was resurrected from the dead. I believe that He is in Heaven now offering forgiveness. I open my heart and ask Jesus to come into my life as my Savior and my Lord. Thank you God. I ask this in the name of Christ Jesus. Amen.

If you sincerely prayed this prayer, you have everlasting life.

John 6:47...Jesus said, "Truly, Truly, I say unto you, he who believes on me has everlasting life"

Welcome to the family of believers. We are not perfect...just forgiven.

Author Unknown --- Submitted by Jeff Pappas

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