One of the things Stephen touched on tonight was that we sometimes find it difficult to accept the gospel because we are unused to such good news being completely free, no strings attached. We are so used to having to pay for things that we view special offers suspiciously. We don’t expect to find monies deposited in our bank accounts unless we’ve earned them!

‘Eagle Eye’ was a 2008 film starring Shia LaBoeuf and Michelle Monaghan. Their characters were coerced into carrying out a plan by a possible terrorist organisation. Jerry Shaw is a Stanford University dropout who learns that his identical twin brother Ethan, a US Air Force first lieutenant, has been killed. Following the funeral, Jerry is surprised to find $750,000 in his bank account. He later finds his apartment filled with weapons, ammonium nitrate, classified DOD documents, and forged passports. He receives a phone call from a woman who says the FBI is about to arrest him and that he needs to run.

The film captures the total sense of bewilderment the character feels on checking his bank balance and finding it much healthier than he expected (he’s used to avoiding his landlady because he can’t afford to pay rent, for example!) That’s a little bit like we feel when we accept the good news that God loves us so much that He sent His only Son to die for us so that we should not perish but have eternal life. We are stunned to discover that not only have we been given the ‘credit’ to live for ever, but we have also received multiple additional blessings – ‘Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.’ (Eph 1:3 TNIV) We discover we were chosen in Him before the creation of the world (Eph 1:4 TNIV). We discover that we are heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ (Rom 8:17 TNIV). We discover that we have been given gifts from the Holy Spirit.

If we can truly grasp all that God has deposited into our lives, we will live life with a new identity and purpose that are independent of our financial wealth or social status.