Claim Your Prize
I heard an interesting story in the news today. Today is the day. It's the final deadline for one person to come forward. New York authorities are looking for the person who purchased a lottery ticket that happens to be a winner. The prize? A mere $7 million. For almost a year this ticket holder has gone completly unaware of his or her winnings. And now the day has come when, if he or she doesn't step forward, there won't be any prize to claim. The ticket will be null and void.
Something that seems worthless, a little piece of paper, holds value beyond what most of us will ever have to claim. What now holds such high value is still worthless considering it may go completely unnoticed and without ever being cashed in. Who knows where this ticket holder is, let alone the actual winning ticket. Without it being turned in, without this person coming forward, the prize will go unclaimed. The winnings will be worthless. The opportunity may truly never come again.
And yet, you know it, there's a lesson here. An incomparable prize that is ours to claim, and yet we so often let it go unnoticed and untouched. We ignore it, seemingly unaware, and often we completely miss the opportunity.
The thing about our own "prize" to claim is we don't know when the deadline will be... For the average person, we don't know our final day on earth. We cannot usually predict our death or know the final hour, but we can make each hour and day count by claiming this gift NOW.
The gift of course is eternal salvation, the opportunity to know Christ as our Savior, to be able to claim Him as Lord and to be redeemed as His child. Please understand - this prize is everyone's to claim. You don't have to have a winning lottery ticket - the price was paid with Christ's sacrifice on the cross. The gift of eternal life is free for you and for me, it simply must be accepted. It's not enough to claim you know Him. You must accept Him, His redemption of your sin, and exchange your own worthless dirty rags for His righteousness and eternal security.
The price to you is free. The prize to you is eternal. Eternal life. Not here on earth, but eternity in heaven with Him. The deadline may not be today - but why wait? Why risk the chance of your gift going unclaimed, unused, your life unredeemed? Today is the day to claim Him as your Lord and Savior, to redeem the gift of eternal life that has been gifted to you, and to allow Him to redeem your life.