My car insurance is coming up for renewal. Every year the premium goes up even though I have had no accidents, made no claims, and have a good record; and every year I get quotes from other organisations and do the comparisons then haggle to get them down to the best possible price. It's a bit of a bind but it works!!!
I hope I don't fall off this high horse I am just about to climb on but isn't the whole point of having insurance meant to cover any mistakes that I make as a driver; so why do I have to pay more if I have not made any? Isn't that a bit like a doctor saying "I only accept healthy patients. Anyone who is ill cannot enter my surgery"? I really do question the value of insurance but I know if I want to drive my car I have to have have it in place in case of mistakes either on my part or on the part of someone else.
This conversation I had last time was quite revealing. I was told that, even though I had been accident free for another year, there were more accident claims than ever before because there are more cars on the roads than ever before and that's why premiums are increasing. So, it seems to me, it's not me....it's everybody else! I am being punished for the mistakes made by everybody else.
As I was preparing my list of who to compare I began to wonder about the mistakes I make as a Christian. Does God increase what I owe Him for the coming year based on my performance over the preceding year? Does the premium go up every year even if, in the extremely unlikely scenario, that I never make a mistake? Even worse, if I was to achieve the impossible and not make any mistakes would I be punished for everybody else's mistakes?
That set me thinking. There is no renewal date to cover my mistakes as a Christian. The premium has been paid for me. Even better than that it has been paid once and for all. It does not cover me for one year at a time. It lasts forever. Yes, it covers the past, the present and the future. Wow! That's what I call a great deal.
God does not offer me insurance. He offers assurance. If God insured us against any mistakes He would have to up the premium. What if we made that many mistakes He had to tell us that we were no longer under His cover; that we must find someone or something else to cover all future mistakes?
Do you realise that there are no exclusion clauses in God's offer of His cover of our errors? What even my sin? "Where sin abounds grace abounds much more" (Romans 5:20) Where there was no way God has made a way. He decided to cover every mistake, every careless word spoken, every wrong thought and every sin by paying the premium Himself. It was a one-off eternally effective payment that He made when His Son died at Calvary.
Does that mean I can live recklessly because the premium is paid?No. There are consequences to reckless living just like there are consequences to reckless driving. If there weren't there would be compromise of God's holiness and righteousness. Equally there would be obvious encouragement of my recklessness. God does not overlook my sins but, thanks be to God, He does pass over them. If He was to ignore my sin that would only serve to endorse my sin.
How is it possible for Him to overlook my mistakes? Because He paid the premium to cover all of my mistakes. Can I hide my mistakes from Him? No. He is an all-seeing God. So what do I have to do? Just be honest, tell Him the truth and that I'm truly sorry and its all done and dusted. That's the lavishness of grace!!
The truth is that I will never be in that place where I can barter with God (like I do with my car insurers) over my record. I am truly grateful that God has me covered for eternity because Jesus had paid my premium (one I could never afford or repay). Now there's a thought.
For Christ also died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit; (1 Peter 3:18)