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There are just some things I’ll never understand about women.  Like their fetish for purses, or pocketbooks, whatever you call them.  For the life of me I can’t figure this out about Korie.  Now I’m not trying to throw her under the bus or anything, but what’s the deal?  I’m beginning to see that when Peter said to live with our wives in an understanding way, the actual Greek rendering means to just go ahead and do what they ask you to do even when you don’t understand!  Feel me?

Whether or not that’s the true spirit of the Greek word, I have decided to go ahead and buy into that old saying that when mama’s happy everybody’s happy, and when she’s not no one is.  And that when papa isn’t happy who cares!

So my wife had a birthday a couple years back (not that she didn’t have one since) and as punishment for me being away on her birthday she sent me to go find her a purse from a very particular store in Los Angeles.  Now I have no idea how much this particular kind of purse she wanted was going to cost.  I figured at the most $75 dollars or so.  But when I walked into this store that bares the name of some old French monarch, located the desirable item and discovered the price, well, to be honest with you…I…wanted to cuss!  I mean what they wanted for this purse was in the neighborhood of what I pay for my mortgage.  I’m like in one hand is where keys live, but  on the other hand are where people live!

Having come to grips with the fact that the decimal was appropriately placed  I then decided to inquire as to when the next sale was going to occur.  Because surely there had to be a sale.  Oh how silly of me.  The finely manicured sales associate informed me that this fine establishment had never had a sale.  I sarcastically wondered aloud then how in the world were they able to sell so many hours, I mean purses given such the high price.  He then launched out into some brand marketing talk.  You know the whole bit about how their name and reputation were so well established that they didn’t need to rely on gimmicks to make transactions.  And to buttress his point he turned the palm of his hand up, arched his arm in a straight 180 degree horizontal angle, and moved in a half circle to show me the fifty or so people who were packed in the store.  His point was clear- the brand was enough.

I left the store that day, leaving the other fifty or so to mill about, because quite frankly I didn’t want to pay the cost.  The sales rep didn’t run after me trying to bargain me back in.  He was just confident enough in the product, and okay with me leaving.  No gimmicks.

In a lot of ways that’s the gospel.  The gospel is enough.  No gimmicks are needed.  No big hooks to get people to buy into it.  The death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ has  been changing lives, and societies for years.

So why is it that we as church leaders and Christians feel so compelled to put the gospel on sale?  Why have we bought into the lie of pragmatism?  Why are we so concerned with people having a good experience, and begging them to come back to our churches?  Why are preachers so concerned with not offending, or turning people off?  Why are church growth conferences so packed, where the latest marketing ploy is offered to a bunch of note takers anxious to peddle the gospel at a discounted cost?

Jesus never put the gospel on sale.  To a rich young ruler who was interested in eternal life, and possibly following him, Jesus played the role of a French monarch by telling him to sell everything he had, give to the poor, and then he’d be ready to follow him.  To a man whose father was dying, and wanted to wait until after the funeral to follow Jesus, Jesus refused to put the gospel on sale.  He told him to let the dead bury the dead, but to come and follow Him.

In fact, Paul, in some of the most disturbing words of Scripture tells the Galatians, that for anyone who tries to put the gospel on sale, that they are to be accursed!

You know for a minute I started to hop in my car there in Los Angeles and head to the local swap meet.  That’s the place where they sell knock off brands for cheap.  But I love my wife too much to give her anything that’s inauthentic.

Do we not love people enough to give them the real deal, expensive gospel?

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