Do you love vending machines? Nothing can hit the spot like some not so fresh donut sticks and a can of coke. What is better than a vending machine you ask? A free one.
Everyone has been there. Face to face with the machine, full of options. Do you pick the snickers bar? the package of zingers? or maybe the loaded potato skins? You put your 1.55 in and make your selection. The gadgets start spinning and you see your pack of pop tarts inching closer towards freedom. Then the unbelievable happens. Not 1 but 2 packs of pop tarts somehow fall to the gates of freedom below.
FOR FREE! Nothing really beats that feeling. Something as simple as a pop tart, that we didn’t earn or pay for can lighten our mood or maybe even make our whole day.
Typically if you got something for free, it means the person before you probably paid in, the machine malfunctioned, and was left empty handed calling some 1-800-fixitnow number. (Those never work by the way)
Imagine if you had a vending machine that was free all the time? Whoever walked by could get anything they wanted even if they didn’t deserve it, even if they couldn’t pay for it. What if that vending machine had more than just food and drinks? What if it offered love for hurting people, say free hugs. What about advice and counsel, what about healing from past hurts and sickness?
The local church is the sweetest free vending machine we could ever imagine
That would be the best vending machine in the world. That vending machine exists. It is the local church. Inside, it is full of Jesus. He is our father, our healer, our counselor, our friend. Free to anyone, paid for by grace. That is the heart of Jesus.
“Don’t hoard treasure down here where it gets eaten by moths and corroded by rust or—worse!—stolen by burglars. Stockpile treasure in heaven, where it’s safe from moth and rust and burglars. It’s obvious, isn’t it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being.” – Matthew 6:19-21 MSG
When we are generous and give we are paying it forward. We are realizing that we have all gotten something awesome from that vending machine. Now we look back and want to see others have that same feeling we had. We give money, but people get Jesus. We give time, but people feel love. It is so much more than money. We give because he first gave to us.
Challenge yourself to give and be generous. There is nothing like the feeling of being a part of something bigger than yourself. There is nothing like the feeling of getting something you don’t deserve. There is nothing like the feeling of a free pop tart.