When we invest our time and skills at our jobs, we expect fair wages at the end of the pay period. What about the hours and energy we invest in our sins? Do we expect a fair wage for this, too?

When we’ve reached the “end of the pay period” of our life, what will that paycheck look like?

Usually we think of “wages” as something we look forward to receiving. But look at how Romans 6:23 (ESV) describes wages: “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

It would be tragic to face eternity, wishing we’d made more of an effort to heed the Bible’s warning. The moment our earthly life ends, another life – rather, a continuation of our life – begins. Shouldn’t we do all we can to make sure our life after death is a good one? A great one?

We cannot earn our way to heaven or say enough prayers to be allowed in. As I write this, I’m praying that you’ll grasp how much God loves you and wants you to spend eternity with Him. He sent His only Son to die a horrific death for your sins. His love is so incomprehensible, yet so real. So magnificent, yet so personal.

When Jesus was scourged (whipped with leather straps containing bits of metal and animal bones), His back was ripped to shreds. He was thrown onto a ragged wooden cross which cut into His raw back. As bad as that pain was, it couldn’t distract Jesus from the agony of the spikes being driven into His wrists and feet.

Jesus hung on the cross for hours, struggling to breathe. He had to lift Himself up by pushing against His spiked-swollen feet, thus scraping His gaping back against the torturous wood of the cross – over and over and over again just to get a breath. Lift. Scrape. Breathe. Lift. Scrape. Breathe. Until the hour came when He declared, “It is finished.” And indeed it was.

Jesus lived a perfect, sinless life, then willingly paid the penalty for our sins and restored our relationship with our heavenly Father by dying on the cross. But we must take the step to believe (accept it as truth) that He died for our sins and rose again. Then, for the rest of our lives, every single day of our life, our resurrected Savior invites us to trust Him to give us the power and will to overcome sin – and to come to Him for mercy when we don’t.

We’ve earned a fair wage for our sins: death. We can choose today to accept Jesus’ payment. Or we can wait until after death to receive the pay we deserve.

(Revised from my archives.)

Sheryl H. Boldt is the author of the blog, www.TodayCanBeDifferent.net. Connect with her at SherylHBoldt@gmail.com.