Oct 25 2018

Too Good to be True

Pastor Dave Koppel

About a week ago an ad popped up on my computer for Trek bicycles. I have a Trek bicycle, and it’s a beauty. So when I saw this ad telling me about a model closeout sale, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to buy a bicycle for my wife and for my daughter. (Maybe even a spare bike for myself!) The sale prices were incredible and had a couple of models that were just great.
 
I copied the link and sent it to them, and asked what models they would like. Within an hour, they had picked out models they wanted, and I had placed the order. A few minutes later I sent the company an email because I had a question about the order and I wanted some clarification. You see, I had little trouble with my credit card, so when it didn’t work the first time I tried to place the order, so I just used a different credit card. Then I went back to the “my orders” section and it said I had one order placed and two more orders pending. Hmmm. That wasn’t right. I left a message that I only wanted one order of three bicycles, not three orders of three bicycles.
 
I called my first credit card company and they had told me they had already shut down my credit card due to a questionable charge. I didn’t know who it was, so I was kind of glad they shut down my credit card and were sending me a new one. So, at least this explained why the first credit card didn’t work.
 
I checked back to see if I had any response from the bicycle site. No response. The next morning, I sent another email. I heard nothing back. By that afternoon I began to wonder whether or not I had just gotten scammed by a fake bicycle site. I sent one more email informing them that if I did not hear back from them in short order, I would cancel the order and my credit card.
 
Well, I never heard back, and I did contact the second credit card company and they told me there was a charge to that card—which was not the amount that I thought I should be charged for the bicycles. Interestingly enough it was from the same place as the other credit card charge.
 
So now, two new credit cards later, and no new bicycles, I have learned a lesson. Sometimes when things seem too good to be true they are actually too good to be true. I thought it was a great sale and a great opportunity, but maybe I should’ve known better.
 
Some people say that you get what you pay for—I’m not always sure that’s the case either. At any rate, today’s lesson is that some things are too good to be true.
 
It’s kind of a harsh lesson. Sometimes people say you get what you deserve.
 
The problem with all of that is if we really believe this lesson, it can creep over into our faith life. And the truth is, God loves us so very much and he gives us way better than what we really deserve.
 
We can get to a point we believe you get to go to heaven if you’re good, if you’ve lived a clean life, if the amount of good things you’ve done outweighs the amount of bad things that you’ve done. The truth is, God has claimed each and every one of us as his children.
 
God’s love for you and me will never change. And he’s already marked us at baptism as his own. This will never change.
 
It’s not about how good you are, it’s not about how much you know, it’s not about the number of kind things you have done. Pure and simple, it’s just about the fact that God loves you.
 
It sounds almost too good to be true—because we are used to the ways of the world where people try to rip us off and get our credit card numbers and scam us. But that’s not the way God works.
 
Sometimes people will try to scam us. Don’t let this get in the way of understanding that God loves you with an unconditional forever love.
 
God doesn’t work the way the rest of the world works. He simply loves you. No tricks, no scams, no shady deals, no limited time offers. This deal is good forever, and it’s real.
 
Trust it. Believe it. Soak it in.
 
God’s love for you has no conditions, no expiration date, and it will never change.
 
In His grip,