Just Desserts (Death, Hell, & Pie)
Several years ago, a friend and I were visiting a great church family to talk about how they were growing into new roles in the church. We chatted while the kids played, the man baked, and the lady cleaned up after him. It was a great time that had to end sooner than any of us desired. So, as we were leaving, the dear hostess offered us a slice of pie. Attempting to make efficient use of our day (and maintain our manly figures), we told her that we would have to pass on the pie.
Stating that we were hard workers for Jesus, she insisted, ” Have some pie, you deserve it.” Our resolve remained strong; we skipped the pie and went on our way.
Later, on our way in the car, my friend and I had a discussion about whether or not “we deserved” that pie. The lady had been correct, he and I had been working hard. We had often done things that helped others and that pointed others toward God. It was also normal for us to deny ourselves ordinary pleasures to do what God had asked. So, we were both tempted to agree: We deserved that pie… and maybe more, now that we thought about it.
At that moment, God spoke to both of us. He brought to mind some of His words that we knew very well. Romans 3:23 says that “all people have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 6:23 says that “the wages of sin is death.”
It became very clear to us, WHAT WE DESERVE is death and Hell.
We EARNED death and Hell by our participation in sin. If I never received a single good thing in my life, that would be the correct payment for my work of rebellion against God. But I often get good things. That shows HOW GOOD GOD IS. But let’s not begin to take His goodness for granted and think “we deserve it.” How hard we work on good things and what we sacrifice is irrelevant; we can never EARN life and Heaven, or pie.
It’s a good thing Jesus earned life and Heaven for us. He’s also willing to give them to us. The rest of Romans 6:23 says it this way, ” the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” In the chapter before that (5:8) we find out how that is possible. “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
Take some time today to thank Jesus that you regularly DON’T GET what you deserve (that’s the definition of mercy btw). As a bonus, you and I get many things that we DON’T DESERVE; that’s grace.
So, even though we don’t deserve it, sit down with me for a moment and enjoy some Life, Heaven, and… pie.