Exclusive Offer

Everybody loves an exclusive offer.  There’s something attractive about knowing you can’t get this kind of deal anywhere else.  Over the Christmas season lots of places have been trying to tempt us with an exclusive deal.  I’ve been considering this for a while and discovered that companies, magazines, websites and TV adverts are making an offer to us that they cannot deliver on.

In Subway recently I read this slogan on the T-Shirt of the person serving me “however you feel, whatever you want – we’ve got a sub for that.” No big deal you might think.  Just another marketing slogan from a fast food chain.  Actually I don’t think so.  This is a gospel message, a false gospel message.  It’s kind of like an alternative to the 23rd Psalm.

The lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. – see how Subway turns itself into a kind of god who can give us ‘whatever we want’? Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. –  see how Subway turns itself into a kind of god who is there for us ‘however we feel’?  The problem is Subway cannot deliver on the promise.  A sandwich can’t make any preparations for our future beyond this life on earth but the One True God can!  Jesus makes the important exclusive offer in our lives.  We need a Shepherd not a sandwich!

Jesus is the Only One who satisfies the eternal hunger in our lives (John 6:35)

Jesus is the Only One who enables us to face every circumstance (Philippians 4:11-13 & 4:19)

Jesus is the Only One who prepares an eternal home for us. (John 14:6)

Jesus is the Only One whose name brings salvation. (Acts 4:12)

Paul Baloche sings

Your Name is a strong and mighty tower
Your Name is a shelter like no other
Your Name, let the nations sing it louder
‘Cause nothing has the power to save but Your Name

The real exclusive offer of Christmas is found in the Bible “turn to me and be saved all you ends of the earth – for I am God and there is no other!

That’s all for now – I’m off for a footlong steak and cheese…


So This Is Christmas?

So this is Christmas and what have you done, another year over and a new one just begun…

These lyrics were belting out in a Belfast store last night as I frantically rummaged around looking for the last few items of Christmas shopping. “What have you done?” That line has haunted me today as I’ve thought a bit about the past year. Sure, I could list a whole pile of stuff that I’ve done in 2007 and maybe even persuade myself that it wasn’t too bad. Paul says in Corinthians that ‘each one should be careful how he builds’ because ‘the fire will test the quality of each man’s work.’ (1 Cor 3:10-15) Not encouraging comments, not public opinion, not numbers on seats, not my own thoughts but ‘the fire’ will be the true quality test. So this is Christmas and what have I done? Well I guess I’ll find out eventually and give an account for it. My suspicion is that there’s too much wood, hay and straw. My hope is that in 2008 I’ll build with more gold, silver and costly stones…