Grace, God's Free Gift

Grace, Godís Free Gift

by Rubel Shelly

Published in LoveLines (Oct. 2, 1996)

You Donít Have to Give It Back!

Computers are wonderful ó but they arenít perfect. Just ask the First National Bank of Chicago. Their computer glitched recently to the tune of $763.9 billion!

The largest computer error in the history of banking in the United States occurred in mid-May of this year when a faulty computer program deposited millions of dollars each into more than 800 First National Bank customer accounts.

Jeff Ferrera called his bank to check on his balance. After going through the list of menus, an automated voice told him his checking account balance was $924,844,208.32. To say the least, he was startled! Then the computer technician at Zenith Electronics began weighing his options.

Some of his friends suggested that he wire it to the Cayman Islands and buy himself a new identity. Then he thought about putting his millions into a short-term account, earning a few thousand dollars in interest, and then returning all $924.8 million to the bank in a few days. "I figured they wonít catch it for a week," he told himself, "and Iíd put it all back. Whatís the harm?"

As it turned out, he neednít have worried. The bank spotted the computer error of depositing more than six times its total assets into various accounts and froze all accounts. By 1 a.m. on the morning of May 18, everything had been cleared up.

Can you imagine finding such a staggering sum in your bank account? What wild possibilities might come to your mind? But you know it would all be fantasy, though, for youíd have to give it all back. It didnít really belong to you. It was a mistake.

Christian, God has given you eternal life! He has made the full deposit into your account ó a deposit paid and guaranteed by the blood of Jesus Christ. You donít have to give it back. Itís yours to keep, celebrate, and enjoy.

Your name is not in the Lambís Book of Life in pencil. It isnít erased each time you mess up, then reentered when you ask for forgiveness. If that were the case, thereíd probably be a hole in my page by now. And Iíd be worried about the guyís name on the next several pages below my own!

Your name is there in ink ó no, in blood! Your past has been forgiven, really and fully forgiven. And now, as you "walk in the light" with God, you have the assurance that "the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies (i.e., continually purifies) us from all sin" (1 John 1:7).

I know the temptation to live as if a mistake has been made in heavenís accounts that will soon be set straight. Itís just too good to be true that you could be forever forgiven and everlastingly emancipated. But it is true!

Praise God! Your account is overflowing with grace that never has to be given back!

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