The Bottom Line
I remember my parents teaching me the value of money and how to work. My first job that earned money was given to me by my mother. She handed me a fly swatter and told me she’d give me a nickel for every hundred flies I killed. We lived in Arkansas and had chickens and pigs, so there were plenty of flies. I’d kill my hundred (learning to count as well), ride my bike a half mile down the gravel road to the store, and usually spend my nickel on a PayDay candy bar. If I worked really hard, I could earn enough to buy a 10-cent grape pop as well. I’d keep my eyes peeled for pop bottles in the ditch because I could redeem them at the store.
Let’s do a quick study on wages and gifts. A wage is something you earn because you work for it, and a gift is totally free. The best example of this is found in the Bible. “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23 NLT). The “wages of sin” refers to the payday that comes as a result of working for the devil. You may think, “Now wait a minute! I certainly don’t serve the devil!” But God’s Word says that if you haven’t accepted God’s free gift of salvation through His Son, you’re earning wages of death from Satan. There’s no in-between, it’s one or the other. If you’re thinking of moonlighting for God, forget it — that won’t work either. Jesus said, “You must love the Lord your God with ALL your heart, ALL your soul, and ALL your mind” (Matthew 22:37 NLT).
A life of sin will eventually destroy you. The nonbeliever works hard for sin his whole life and then his pension is eternal torment. Obviously, the devil makes a rotten boss. The deceptive thing about sin is that it comes disguised as self-gratification, fun, and fulfillment. Satan is the master deceiver who lures people into a life of misery by promising them all kinds of happiness. However, the real payoff for all their hard work is disappointment, destruction, and death. But God’s gift is abundant life now and into eternity, all freely given by Christ Jesus.
The meaning of “gift” is an endowment, something freely given. God lovingly gives grace (favor) to those who call upon His name. Blessings, benefits, and bestowments all come to us from a kind heavenly Father who gives, and gives, and keeps on giving because it’s His nature. Because He loved the world, He gave His Son.
The wages of sin is earned. The gift of God is graciously given and freely received. Before conversion we were all on Satan’s payroll. But as believers, we’re on God’s gift list! The devil’s final payoff is eternal punishment, but God’s ultimate gift is His Son, Jesus. He loves you and wants to bless you and give you a mansion in heaven. When Jesus died on the cross, He paid the price that was necessary for your sins to be forgiven. If you believe that, then forsake your sins, confess Him as Lord, and you‘ll receive forgiveness and the gift of eternal life.
The Bottom Line: Payday is coming for those who refuse God’s wonderful gift.