It’s worth it

A few years ago in Plano, Texas, businessman Charlie Whittington came up with an idea. As the owner-operator of a Kwik Kar Lube and Service, he decided to offer a discount to customers who could quote John 3:16. He printed coupons with the discounted price of $19.99 with the accurate recitation of the verse.

You can imagine the range of reaction. Some applauded his efforts to open conversations with people about his faith. Others cried discrimination, particularly when refusal to quote the verse led to a charge of $46.

I know it might be hard to conceive, but lawyers got involved. A Dallas attorney named Andy Siegel offered his opinion that, since the station was a private business, the use of a Bible-based discount was technically not against the law. He did add, “The study of the Bible has many rewards. I’m not sure that God intended a lube discount to be among its many riches.”

That was 2011. In today’s climate, Mr. Whittington might have a harder time with his promotion.

Charlie was right about one thing. The Word of God does lead to life. According to Paul, the purposes of the Bible are clear: “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It straightens us out and teaches us to do what is right. It is God’s way of preparing us in every way, fully equipped for every good thing God wants us to do” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

The Bible is a love story, a 66-book revelation of God’s desire to draw us to Himself. It is brutally honest about the devastation of evil, sin, and death and the consequences of our rebellion and disobedience. It is full of stories of flawed people like us. There are moments of heart-breaking and confusing events and actions. But there are also those glimpses of a loving Father who just wants His children safe and secure in His arms. The end of the story foretells the destruction of all that shouldn’t be and the redemption of all that should. The last words of the last verse of the last chapter of the last book tell us: Love wins.

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About Mark Wilbanks

Dr. Wilbanks became Wieuca’s fifth senior pastor in February of 2012. Mark’s father, Oliver Wilbanks, served as Associate Pastor here from 1966 to 1982. Wieuca had a tremendous influence in shaping Mark’s call to ministry during his teenage and young adult years. A graduate of both Southern and New Orleans Baptist Theological seminaries, Mark has served churches in Kentucky, Florida, and Georgia. He pastored Southside Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida for 17 years and Bradfordville First Baptist Church in Tallahassee, Florida for ten years. He and his wife, Kim, were married in 1979 and have two sons, Andy and Jordan. Andy is married to Lindsay and they have a son, Cade, a daughter, Ruthie, and welcomed their third child, Samuel, in October.

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