For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.  Ephesians 2:8 ESV

When you bought your car, it was a great deal. But when you lost your job, those monthly payments became a weight that threatened to sink you financially.

You’ve called the bank to explain your situation, but the response was less than enthusiastic. They promised to get back to you and did—in the form of a registered letter announcing your car would be repossessed.

You’ve tried to refinance, tried covering the payments by living on Ramen noodles and chicken broth, done all you can to come up with the money, but you’re out of options.

Then, one morning, there’s a knock on the door. You open it to find a large man who politely explains he’s from the bank. You fish out your car keys to hand over, but he stops you.

“There is no need,” he says, “The bank decided to cover your back payments. In fact, we’ve paid off the entire loan. The car is yours, free and clear. I just wanted to tell you the good news.”

He hands you the car’s title, smiles, and turns to leave. You stand in the doorway, speechless. Somehow, for some reason you can’t begin to understand, your debt has been paid.

In full. As a gift.

If someone suddenly paid off your entire car loan—or mortgage or student debt—you’d tell someone. You would tell everyone. You couldn’t wait to share the good news.

Now imagine that the banker at your door didn’t just say the bank would take care of your car loan. Let’s say he added, “And we’ll do the same thing for all of your friends.”

You would burn through your contact list with a blitz of calls and texts. Most of your friends wouldn’t believe you at first—at least, not until they met the banker. They would be rushing to the bank, eager to take advantage of the offer.

And, like you, they would walk away a lot less anxious about their finances. A lot more at peace.

And there’s the real gift: Paying off your loan is nice, but the peace that comes from having that debt off your shoulders? That is priceless. When anxiety moves out, that makes room for peace—and peace is what people want more than almost anything.

Think about it: When you’re talking with friends, how long does it take before they tell you what’s unsettling in their lives – what is bothering them, what is going wrong at work, what’s crowding the margins out of their lives?

But there is Someone who will pay the debt and replace that debt with anxiety-reducing peace and hope.

As a gift.

As a Jesus-follower, you have accepted that gift. But is there a friend who needs to hear about Jesus? Someone who’s having difficulty? Someone who could use a hefty dose of anxiety-erasing peace?

If so, you’ve got something they need to know. This is the heart of sharing good news: a desire for others to enjoy the peace you enjoy, a life available only through Jesus.

Now you understand grace!