Taken at his word

The Harrowing of Hell as depicted by Fra Angelico

Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.

Faith without works is dead. … By works faith was made perfect.

Romans 3:24; James 2:20.22.

In the nineteenth century extreme poverty descended on certain districts of large towns, and numbers of children were reduced to begging to obtain a little food. One evening two shabbily dressed children had slipped into a hall where the gospel was being preached. Only the preacher had noticed them. They had taken a seat on the bench at the back and listened attentively to the explanation of the text in Isaiah 55: You who have no money, come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price” (v.1).

After the service the children left as discreetly as they had entered, and the preacher was disappointed that he had not been able to speak to them. However, just as he was entering his home, he felt someone tug at his jacket and heard the voice of a small girl: “Sir, please give me something for my sick mother.” – “What shall I give you, my dear?” – “Some milk. … We have no money, but you said, ‘Come, without money.’ We have brought a bottle.”

Those children had taken literally a promise from the Bible that has a spiritual significance. But God also responds to the simple faith of a child. The preacher accompanied the children to their home. He found the mother there seriously ill. He bought the promised milk and was able to speak to her of the salvation obtained by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, salvation offered freely to each of us, without ever having been deserved by us.

Image: By Fra Angelico – The Yorck Project (2002) 10.000 Meisterwerke der Malerei (DVD-ROM), distributed by DIRECTMEDIA Publishing GmbH. ISBN: 3936122202., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=147493