Read The Small Print
“…Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.”
John 7:37 (NKJV UK)
Whenever you buy a new home or garden appliance these days, it comes with a great wedge of paperwork. There’s the guarantee, the user manual, the list of stockists and repair facilities, and so on goes the stuff. And usually, nestling quietly somewhere in the bottom among all the packaging, is a document containing all the Small Print.
Like most people, I don’t usually read this—I want to be using the new gadget. After all, that’s what I bought it for, not to spend half an hour reading superfluous, unwanted information. Only. The Small Print is actually something we need to read, at least from time to time.
When God begins to call someone to Christianity, this being an age of scepticism and suspicion, we hunt around for the Small Print. What am I not being told? What does God get out of it? What does he expect of me? And often we are very careful not to be ‘sucked’ in to this religion trap. Well, if that’s where you are right now, I’ve got some good news for you. There is no Small Print in God’s paperwork. To almost quote from another product’s famous slogan, what you see in the book, is exactly what you get. This is almost certainly going to amaze you, may even provoke thoughts of improbability, but the promises made by God to the new Christian come with no Small Print. Everything necessary to ‘make it,’ to achieve what God promises, everything we need to become a Christian, is given to us.
And it was all accomplished for us long ago. In other words, we can’t change a thing because it was all settled millennia ago. In fact, God sorted it all out before he put mankind on this planet. He made sure that we would have everything in place before we even knew we were going to need it. That’s a God of love, with totally consuming passion for his children!
So often we view God in the light of the conditions we would impose on someone coming to Christianity. And, of course, many Christians and fellowships continue to operate their version of it in that light. But the true God of Christianity has no such conditions. He isn’t a God of hate; he’s a God of love. He isn’t a God who exacts retribution for failure; he understands that his creation is flawed. He created us flawed, ready to need and accept our perfect Saviour but only when we came to understand our position vis-à-vis his.
So, if you’re hesitating, come on in. The Christian condition is one of reassurance, surrounded by love and security. Yes, there are things we need to do—actually work towards becoming—to change our flawed us to become more like his perfect being. But that’s something we can pick up on later. Meanwhile, go on, give it a go.
Holy Father, we pray for those to whom you are extending your loving hand, to call them to this exciting life you offer, as Christians, as your children, as partners with you in the Adventure of Life. We ask for your calming help for those who remain sceptics, those with fear and unbelief. Help us to show them, loving Father, the Way. In Jesus’ name we pray.
Study by John Stettaford
Worldwide Church of God Reading
6th Form Common Room
Honey End Lane
READING RG30 4EL
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