Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters;
and he who has no money, come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.
Today is “Black Friday,” the day widely regarded as the first official day of the Christmas shopping season. On a day when many are resting and recovering from massive overindulgence in food and football, retailers open early and stay late, hoping to entice crowds of shoppers to their establishments. It is believed that the term “Black Friday” originated from retailers’ hopes that their books will be solidly “in the black” after their registers ring all day.
So . . . as many will spend this day engaging in uncontrolled eating and spending, we might do well to take a moment to consider the words of the prophet: “He who has no money, come, buy and eat!” Here is one of those lovely contradictions between the ways of the world and the ways of God: the world is calling us to come, spend as much money as you possibly can! And don’t forget the plastic! Christ calls to those who have nothing to offer—nothing at all with which to pay.
How easy it is to make the stuff of this world more important than our Savior! You see, the desire for more is not bad; God set this desire in our divine design. The key, however, is to know where we should be seeking to find “more.” Adam and Eve were designed by God to seek more of Him. He was to be the object of their deepest desire. He was to be their greatest love. He was to be their first priority. And they were to seek more and more of this each day. It was not until Satan slithered into the picture and offered them more outside of their relationship with God that they considered striving for “more” . . . beyond their divine design.
We have been doing the same ever since, and there is no better example than Black Friday. Now, I am not saying that looking for a bargain is a bad thing. Taking the time to prayerfully consider and purchase things on sale is a good thing. It reflects good stewardship of the resources God has provided. But as my beloved Pastor Tullian likes to admonish us, good things become bad things when we make them ultimate things. When was the last time you heard about a congregation lining up Saturday night to get a good seat in the sanctuary on Sunday morning?
Because of our sinful nature, we must be careful how we approach the shopping season. Instead of bigger barns, we need bigger hearts that are sold out for Jesus. He will tolerate no rival, nor should we. We are blood-bought and grace-filled, and our lives should shout these facts to the world!
Consider this exhortation: “We ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to live and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more” (1 Thessalonians 4:1). Now there is a desire for more that brings joy to the heart of our heavenly Father!
Remember that “You were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot” (1 Peter 1:18-19). It is my prayer that this “Black Friday” we would all remember the very first black Friday, when darkness covered the land between the sixth and the ninth hour . . . the day when our Lord purchased us with His precious blood.
Let us covenant together, you and I, to spend all that we have in the pursuit of knowing Christ and the power of His resurrection (Philippians 3:10).
This is the gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!