You can’t EARN it

Earning My Place

In September of 2005, on the first day of school, Martha Cothren, a social studies schoolteacher at Joe T. Robinson High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, did something not to be forgotten. On the first day of school, with permission of the school superintendent, the principal and the building supervisor, she took all of the desks out of the classroom.

The kids came into first period, they walked in; there were no desks. They looked around and said, “Ms. Cothren, where are our desks?”

Ms. Cothren replied, “You can’t have a desk until you tell me how you earn them.”

They thought, “Well, maybe it’s our grades.”
“No,” she said.
“Maybe it’s our behavior.”
And she told them, “No, it’s not even your behavior.”

First period ended, and still there were no desks in the classroom. Second period, same thing. Third period, no desks. By early afternoon television news crews had gathered in Ms. Cothren’s class to find out about this crazy teacher who had taken all the desks out of the classroom.

The last period of the day, Martha Cothren gathered her class. They were at this time sitting on the floor around the sides of the room. And she says, “Throughout the day no one has really understood how you earn the desks that sit in this classroom ordinarily.” She said, “Now I’m going to tell you.”

Martha Cothren went over to the door of her classroom and opened it, and as she did 27 U.S. veterans, wearing their uniforms, walked into that classroom, each one carrying a school desk. The veterans placed the school desks in rows, and then they stood along the wall. By the time they had finished placing the desks, the children perhaps for the first time in their lives understood how they earned those desks.

Ms. Cothren said, “You don’t have to earn those desks. These guys did it for you! They put them out there for you, but it’s up to you to sit here responsibly to learn, to be good students and good citizens.  They paid a price for you to have that desk.  Don’t ever forget it.” *

Similarly, there is a place for YOU at the Lord’s table.  It is a place of honor and blessing, wonderful blessings like peace, grace, sonship, and life!

“What must I do to take MY seat at the Lord’s table?” you ask.

You can’t EARN it.  Someone paid the price for you to have a place at the Table.  Jesus Christ, God’s Son, died on the cross for you so that you might have the forgiveness of sins and a place at His table as a child of God (Ephesians 1:7Ephesians 1:7
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7 in whom we have our redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,

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; Galatians 4:4-6Galatians 4:4-6
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4 but when the fulness of the time came, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 that he might redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. 6 And because ye are sons, God sent forth the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, Abba, Father.

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You must ACCEPT it.  You can accept the Lord’s gracious offer by believing Him (Acts 16:30-31Acts 16:30-31
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30 and brought them out and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? 31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus, and thou shalt be saved, thou and thy house.

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), turning from sin in repentance (Acts 17:30-31Acts 17:30-31
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30 The times of ignorance therefore God overlooked; but now he commandeth men that they should all everywhere repent: 31 inasmuch as he hath appointed a day in which he will judge the world in righteousness by the man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.

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), confessing Him before men (Romans 10:9-10Romans 10:9-10
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9 because if thou shalt confess with thy mouth Jesus as Lord, and shalt believe in thy heart that God raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved: 10 for with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

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), and being baptized (immersed) in His name for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38Acts 2:38
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38 And Peter said unto them, Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins; and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

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).  You must also commit to following Him, for the rest of your life.

Jesus paid a HIGH price for you to have a place at His table.  Don’t ever forget it.  But please, accept it on His terms – and enjoy the eternal feast!

Won’t YOU?

David A. Sargent

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