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"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander." ~ 1 Peter 3:15-16
Imagine for a moment that you are seated next to Christ. You say to him, "Lord, this is wonderful! But I feel like something ís wrong. After all, I don't deserve this!" And the Lord says to you, "That's right, you don't deserve it."

"But, Lord!" you say. "There must be something I can do to earn all of this! After all, there ís no such thing as a free lunch. Everything I've been taught in my upbringing insists that I have to earn my way in life!"

"No", says the Lord. "There's nothing you can do."

"But", you stammer, "surely there ís something I can do to earn your favor?"

"No, there ís nothing."

"Can't I serve you for a few years on the mission field? Or maybe preach on the street corner?"

"There ís nothing left for you to do."

"Not just a tiny, little thing?"

The Lord shakes his head.

"You mean, there ís nothing I can do?"

"It ís all been done already", says the Lord.

You sit there and shake your head in wonder as the realization begins to wash over you. Everything has already been done. There is nothing left for you to do - not one good work which could be added to the package of salvation that God has prepared for you. You look at where you are sitting - in a position of glory, with the authority of the throne of heaven surrounding you. You look ahead and see the vista of eternity opening before you, packed full of discoveries awaiting you. Tears begin to well up in your eyes as you turn back to the Lord Jesus.

"Lord", you say. "This overwhelms me. What amazing love you've expressed to me! You've pulled me from the gutter of life and seated me next to you! How can I ever repay you?"

"You can't", says the Lord, smiling. "It ís a gift."

"Yes, Lord", you say. "I see now the wonder of the gift that you have given me. But is there anything, anything, that I can do for you - just to show you how much I love you?"

And the Lord turns toward you, his eyes gazing straight into yours. "Now, my child, you are ready. You have everything because I have given you everything. But just as I had everything, yet gave up all my rights to reach a dying world, so now I call you to follow in my footsteps..."

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