As I thought this over, I remembered a recent conversation about services for the homeless. The shelters in Fort Worth are run by faith based organizations. They provide, showers, a couple of meals, and a safe bed for the night. It seems to me asking that everyone attend a chapel service is not really a hardship. No one asks you to walk the aisle, but in return for room and board you are expected to attend a 30 minute chapel service. In my mind this is not really a price, but in another's mind it is 30 minutes of time given in payment for a place to stay and a full stomach.
Timeshare salespeople are notorious for offering "free stays" at resorts --all you have to do is attend their "information seminar" to hear about the resort and all the amenities. A two night stay in a world class resort and all it has to offer is yours for the small price of 3 hours of your time and a high pressure sales spill. Can I tell you how many clients I have had who regretted falling prey to the sales pitch and the hidden cost that often come with these programs? It was NOT a free vacation after all!
And then there is the retail on line gimmick of "Free Shipping" enticing us to buy things we probably do not need. We seldom consider the fact that if we are willing to dare the retail outlets, there is never a shipping charge. We pay the price on the sales sticker and often that comes with a discount. Shipping is NEVER charged. Yet we think it is a great deal when they will forego charging us shipping on line--but instead it is free. But is it??
Most things come with a cost--if not fiscal--then physical. We normally must give something to get something in return. It is the way of the world.
BUT---grace---it is truly free.
Salvation is a free gift which comes through faith that His grace is enough. Ephesians 2:8 We only have to profess "We Believe" and it is ours for the taking. Works are not expected, tithing is not required, and we could never be good enough. It truly is free---really!