My friends I want to tell you about this wonderful new store. It’s not like any thing you have ever been to before. It’s a super store in that it has everything imaginable under one roof. From, health and wellness to good ole’ soul food, it’s got it. They handle large ticket items like, houses, cars and such, plus small items like food and clothes. The weird thing is, there is no price tag on anything!
One lady went into the store and she found lots of things she wanted to purchase. But, not having price tags was very confusing because she liked to know how much things cost. She wanted to make sure she could afford it. Now since she saw a few other shoppers picking up things and going to the register to check out, she decided to try it as well.
The cashier began to ring up the items and by the time the last item was entered, the figure was astronomical. The lady felt great embarrassment and disappointment and began to tell the cashier she would have to put everything back, when a gentleman approached her.
He was the Store Owner. He said that she could keep everything because he had already paid for it. In fact, he said that he had already paid for everything in the store and it was his policy to just let people come and get what they needed at no charge.
“This is amazing,” exclaimed the woman, “I can’t believe the store isn’t packed. Where are all the shoppers?”
The Store Owner’s expression saddened, “Unfortunately, even though we have spent much time and money on our marketing campaign, the people just aren’t coming to the store as we had hoped. We did a good job getting the word out. But, most people respond in the same way. They can’t believe someone would give away something for nothing! It doesn’t make any sense to them, so they don’t bother to come.”
“Well, I can understand some of their skepticism. No other store does this. Why do you do it?” asked the woman.
“I am extremely wealthy and extremely generous,” replied the Owner. “You see I have everything, including unlimited resources to replace everything I have. The only thing that brings me joy is to share what I have with others.”
“However, there is one requirement,” he continued, “You must become a member to shop here. Members are expected to share what they have received with others. After all if they can get whatever they need here at any time at no charge, they can afford to be generous too!
This membership requirement is also our “Word of Mouth” campaign. I figure if our target audience won’t believe the flyers or the billboards or the radio and TV spots, maybe they will believe someone who shops here. This is our greatest hope for getting more people to the store.”
“What a fresh, new concept,” said the woman elated with her discovery. “Sign me up for membership. I’m going to tell all of my friends right away!”
The Parable Explained
Of course you may suspect by now that the Store Owner is none other than Jesus Christ. His Store represents everything we need in life–complete salvation/wholeness in every area. The target audience is every man, woman and child of every race, nation and background. The woman could be any one of us trying to buy what we need through our own works or resources–more prayer, more bible study, more charitable works, more talent, more skill, you name it.
The Good News is that we don’t have to earn salvation by doing any of these things; Jesus paid the price for that already. This is the “Word of Mouth” campaign “believers” should share with others. As members of the Body of Christ we are empowered to become wealthy and generous on the inside so that we live our lives sharing and giving to others from the abundance of God’s grace towards us.
Today’s Life Principle: Salvation is free because God is loving and generous.
And so God can always point to us as examples of the incredible wealth of his favor and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us through Christ Jesus. God saved you by his special favor when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. (New Living Translation)