Today I went grocery shopping.
Yes, I do my groceries online and love it!
Since I sold my car I've being doing my groceries at Peapod.com.
The first reason I chose to do groceries online is: not having to carry all those groceries bags back home, which is a 30 min. walk. Yeah, I could get a cab, but the delivery fee from Peapod is almost the same cost of a cab ride.
The second reason, is that I spend wiser online. The website gives me easy access to the weekly specials and makes price comparison a button click away. Awesome!
The third reason, is that I can stick to my budget much easier. Peapod gives me the totals as I add things to my cart, so if I see that my budget won't allow me to buy certain things, I take out the superfluous and keep the necessities.
Technology is a blessing! The Peapod truck delivers my groceries at the day and time I choose. Can I ask for anything else?
Well, I feel really privileged for having services like this available to me. So many people don't even have a real supermarket to buy groceries, others have, but it doesn't give them much variety of products and prices. Others don't even know that you can buy food, they still hunt to eat. How about those who die from famine? People who live in places where there is not enough food for everybody. About 70 million people around the world died from famine in the 20th century. That is, about 700 thousand people died per year, or about 1918 died per day.
A couple of weeks ago, I heard a testimony from a Brazilian missionary who's helping people in some villages in Afghanistan. He said "People have lived in poverty for so long that they think it's normal. Changing their reality is not only about giving them food and supplies, but helping them see that better quality of life exists and is reachable. The change has to come from the inside out". For that to happen, there is only one name I can think of: Jesus.
Jesus said: "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. " (John 10:10)
We are all "blind", like these people in Afghanistan, to the abundant life Jesus wants to give us. I know you have much more expectations about life than they do. But, if we would measure Jesus' abundant life and put it in a line, it would look like this:
Suppose Jesus' abundant life is in California, you are in New York, and people from Afghanistan are in Maine. You are almost as far as they are. Because God's abundant life is a satisfying, rich, holy, blameless life, far far away from human reach.
God said: "I am God Almighty; walk before me and be blameless." (Genesis 17:1b)
You may be a good person and do good works, no questions about that. But have you ever told a lie? Did you ever steal something, even something small like a paper clip? Have you ever used God's name as a curse word? Honestly answer to yourself. If you've done the three, you've already broken three of God's ten commandments, which are His standard of righteousness, by lying, stealing and speaking blasphemy. If God were to judge you by His standard, the ten commandments, would you be found innocent or guilty? Be honest to yourself. On judgment day as you stand before God, would you be sent to heaven or hell?
"For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad." (2 Corinthians 5:10)
Does that concern you? It truly concerns me, that's why I'm writing about it, because I may not know you, but I love you and don't want you to spend eternity in hell. If you are reading this right now, and deep in your heart know that, if God were to judge you according to his standard of righteousness you would go to hell, I want you to know the way out God himself provided for you.
Ok. Let's suppose you've broken the law and were sent to court. There, you stand before the judge, and all facts proof that you are guilty of braking the law. The judge finds you guilty and gives you a penalty of $500,000.00, but you don't have the money. Therefore, you will be sent to jail. The guards were ready to take you, when someone you never saw before, walks into the room and says: "I'm paying your penalty, you're free to go." How would you feel about that person? Grateful? That's Jesus. He paid the penalty for all your sins by dieing on the cross in your place. If you repent from your sins, turn your back to them, and accept Jesus' sacrifice and believe in Him as your savior, you won't have to pay for all the times you've broken God's law. And instead of death and hell, He gives you eternal life and heaven. Be grateful because He loves you!
"For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 6:23)
When you pray, confessing to God that you've sinned against Him, repenting from all your wrong-doing and disposing yourself to be better from now on, God will come and clean your heart, He will forget all your sins and He will live inside you. Do this today, because Jesus already paid your penalty at the cross, and when He comes back to judge us it will be too late to repent.
"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." (Galatians 2:20)
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Now, back to God's abundant life. As you receive Jesus as your savior, He gives you His spirit:
"It is God who enables us, along with you, to stand firm for Christ. He has commissioned us, and he has identified us as his own by placing the Holy Spirit in our hearts as the first installment that guarantees everything he has promised us." (2 Corinthians 1:21-22)
"And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit," (Ephesians 1:13)
By having His Spirit you're reconciled with God, and no longer live by the flesh desires, but by the spirit. Only then you may experience His abundant life. You were "blind" but now you can see. I'm headed to California, are you?