Central Baptist Church of Westerly
16 Elm Street, Westerly, RI   02891
Phone: (401) 596-4929   

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Have You Received Your Upgrade?

October 17, 2018
Dear Friends,

People who know me already know that I am pretty cheap.  I always look for
the best price.  I will take a no-frills hotel room or the special of the day at a
local restaurant, all the time. It drives my friends crazy when we travel together.
"Splurge a little." they say. "It's a vacation."

Last February I was heading down to Kentucky to visit my dad. I needed a
rental a car and a hotel room. I chose to stay in the motel where you get one
night free with three nights paid. As to the car, I chose the subcompact model
with a no name company. I saved a bundle!

I have to confess that my frugality sometimes leads to disastrous results. For
example, last year I booked a cheap hotel in Seattle. I only needed one night
and I found a great price. I checked into the room at 4:00 p.m. The room was
so bad that I almost slept at the airport instead.

Every once in a while, it really works out to my advantage. For example, take
that trip in February. I reserved a subcompact car for the week. When I arrived
at the airport they told me that there was a full-size car available if I wanted to
make an upgrade. I politely declined.

As the man behind the counter was working up the paperwork he smiled and
said, "It's your lucky day. We are going to give you the full-size car for the
economy car price!" Imagine that? I got an upgrade without paying for it simply
because I was in the right place at the right time.

That's a good example of how God's grace works. It comes unexpectedly. It
comes as a gift. One day you may find yourself overcome with guilt. You've
messed up. Your life is falling apart. Then you look up and see the hand of
God. He reaches out to you with the gift of forgiveness and new life.

It has nothing to do with us being able to pay the price. Jesus has already done
that. That's the story of the cross. He took our punishment and settled the score
with God so that when we showed up we could enjoy the benefits of being a
child of God. All you need to do is accept it.

You may never get an upgrade at the rental car counter like but that's okay.
If you know Jesus you've already been upgraded to first class and are able
to reap all the benefits that God has to offer. So enjoy. Celebrate the love
of God. That's grace. It is his gift to all who believe.

God bless! See you in church.  

Pastor Cal Lord's Weekly Epistle
Pastor Cal's Weekly

Every week Pastor Cal
writes a weekly column for
the Spirit Page of the
Norwich Bulletin.

He also sends it out to
members and friends of
the church via e-mail.

E-mail him at
calstigers@gmail.com if
you want to be added to
the weekly list.
Pastor Cal's
Archived Epistles