Jesus drew analogies for the Kingdom of God from everywhere and everything: sheep, water, buildings, you name it. And the holy spirit still teaches people that way. This time, my inspiration came from a video game: Kingdom Hearts 2.
A crossover between Disney and Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts should not have been as awesome as it was, but it turned out to be a masterpiece. The second game made many improvements on the first game: better movement, better camera, and bigger, wilder combat options.
But they made ONE change that drove me crazy. The spell called Cure can heal your health, a handy thing when fighting darkness incarnate. In the first game, it had a set MP cost. Spend this, get healing. How much does it cost in the second game? All of it. ALL your MP. Every time you want to heal, even a little bit, you must sacrifice all your magical power. Thankfully, MP recharges over time, but what if you get hurt a lot? That didn’t seem very smart.
But then I saw the other side of the coin. If you only have 1MP left, you can still heal yourself just as much as with full MP. MP is used for a dozen spells, so it’s logical that you’ll burn through a lot of it. But with this safeguarded in place, you don’t need much to heal yourself after taking a beating.
God only requires one thing of us: everything. Jesus said the greatest commandment was to love the Lord with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind (Matthew 22:37-38). He doesn’t just want to be savior, he wants to be Lord of our lives. That means he’s in charge. Christians must surrender everything to God. That doesn’t mean you sell everything to live under a bridge (necessarily), it just means that everything you have–and I mean ev-er-ee-thang–material and otherwise, are God’s direction, not yours.
That sounds harsh…until you realize the other side of the commandment. Have you ever had a day where you don’t have anything left to give? Work, life, family, whatever, has taken all the life out of you. And you feel like you only have 1MP left. But that’s the good news: you can get the same grace as the people who give 100MP.
There’s a parable in Matthew 20: 1-16 where a man hired some men to work in his vineyard one day and offered them a day’s wage. Every few hours, he went out to find more workers, but still paid them a full day’s wage. He even found people to only work one hour, and paid them a full day’s wage. The people who’d been there all day were furious. But the worker basically says, “You agreed to work for this wage, and I want to be generous with my money.”
God’s grace is equally distributed. There’s no such thing as “more saved” or “less saved.” The blood of Jesus doesn’t work on a sliding scale. He works for a flat rate: everything. Whatever you have, that’s what you must lay down. Now, don’t misunderstand me; this doesn’t BUY grace. God paid for that out of his own pocket. But only when you lay everything down and accept Jesus as the only way to salvation do you actually allow his free gift to work in you.
This is why it’s harder for the rich, the comfortable, and otherwise well-off to get saved. They have so much to give. Poorer, lowlier folks have less to lose. But God has the same gift for everybody: the same love, the same healing, the same restoration, the same power, and the same authority. And no matter what you have, God has something better for you if you’ll just open your hand, drop what’s in it, and take what he’s offering.
Lay down your last MP, and receive the healing.