The great Baptist preacher Charles Spurgeon shared this simple story in his book, ‘All of Grace’.
A man visited a woman he knew who was in great financial need. He planned to give her a generous financial gift because he understood her predicament.
He arrived and knocked on her door.
The woman heard the knock but panicked; she hid so ‘the unwanted visitor’ would go away, believing she was not at home.
The following weekend the man met her and told of his visit and the reason he wanted to see her.
Stunned she replied, “I heard the knock but I did not realise it was you. I thought it was my landlord coming for the rent that I could not pay”.
What a story to ponder.
The man had come with a desire to help with her financial situation. But, in fear, she mistook a simple knock at the door as someone coming to extract a payment.
The principle here is the giving and receiving of grace.
Too often, God is mistaken as One seeking to extract a payment from us when in fact His desire is to deliver an awesome free gift.
That free gift was our heavenly Father’s only begotten Son Jesus Christ, dying on a cross for our sin.
Sadly, therefore, many people and religions embrace wrong thinking – “I must pay my own way into eternity by doing good deeds to please God. In Christianity, this is not how it works.
The gospel message is underpinned by what God has done for us! Ephesians 2: 8 declares that, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is a gift of God”.