The “Scratch & Dent” Department

I love the “Scratch and Dent” department or isle.  It is usually the first place my wife and I visit when shopping in stores that sell housewares, home goods and home decorations.  I think the reason is we love finding a bargain.  However, my wife has an exceptionally good eye for decorating and an unusual talent for restoring things.  With few exceptions, if something has decorative value, she will find a way to fix and repurpose it.

There is usually a sign somewhere in the “Scratch and Dent” department informing the buyer of the conditions of the sale.  Sometimes you will see the phrase, “As Is.”  You may also see something like,”No refunds or exchanges.”  Usually the sign will include, “All sales are final!”  What you see is what you get.  You cannot return it.  If you buy it, it is yours forever!

Actually, our lives are like the things in the scratch and dent department.  We too are broken and flawed; some, more so that others.  No one knows this better that our Heavenly Father.  He created us, and He knows the bumps, bruises and crashes we have experienced in our journey.  In fact, He knows us better than we know ourselves.

In spite of this, He sent His Son into the “Scratch and Dent Department” of this world to pay the price of our redemption.  Even more amazing is the fact that He knew what He was buying with the precious blood of His Son.   The Bible says:

“For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person-though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die- but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  (Romans 5:6-8 ESV)

This was the epitome of an “as is” transaction.  Charlotte Elliot expressed this truth beautifully when she penned these familiar words, “Just as I am, without one plea; but that thy blood was shed for me.  O Lamb of God, I come.”  Christ died for us just as we are, and we come to Him just as we are.  However, the good news is He will not allow us to remain just as we are! The scratched, dented and broken people Jesus died for on the cross are in the hands of the Father who will restore and repurpose them according to His sovereign will.  Paul, the Apostle expressed it this way:  “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”   (Philippians 1:6 ESV)

In addition, He has no plans for refunds or exchanges.  He made this purchase with eternity in mind. Paul also said, “For I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.” (2 Timothy 1:12 NASB)  And Peter, writing about our eternal inheritance, wrote: “to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven. . .” (1 Peter 1:4 NASB) In other words, you are “a keeper” as far as God is concerned!

Best of all, “All Sales Are Final!”  There is no need for another purchase, and there is nothing else to pay.  As He hung on the cross, suffering unbelievable anguish and pain, He declared, “It is finished!”(John 19:30 KJV)

Here is another amazing fact; Unlike the discounted prices we pay for items purchased off the “scratch & dent” shelf at the store, the Heavenly Father paid full price for the damaged, and broken lives He redeemed at Calvary’s Cross.  That price was the precious blood of His son, our Savior, Jesus the Messiah.

It is difficult for us to understand the magnitude of what God did for us through the death of Jesus on the cross.  In this one act, the holy and righteous God reconciled to himself a rebellious and broken humanity, and made possible the restoration of all creation in and through His Son.

Regardless of how scratched or dented your life is right now, remember, God sent His Son to purchase and restore you to His original design.  I hope you know this life-changing truth, and I pray you rest, and live in it every day.

Larry Doyle

Published by Larry Doyle

Dr. Larry Doyle served as the Director of Missions for the Piedmont Baptist Association from September 1, 2003, to May 31, 2016. Since retiring from the Piedmont Baptist Association in 2016, Dr. Doyle has served as interim pastor and pulpit supply for several churches in the Piedmont Triad area. He served the Pinecroft Baptist Church from August 2018 to October 2020. His ministry began in the pastorate in Kentucky, his native state. He served as pastor of three churches while completing his undergraduate, graduate and post graduate degrees. (1968–1979) He and his wife Becky, a native of Greensboro, served as missionaries with the International Mission Board in Ecuador from 1980 to 1992. They returned to North Carolina where Larry pastored the Union Cross Hispanic Baptist Church in Kernersville from 1992 to 2000. In January 2001 he and Becky moved Honduras where they served as the On-site Coordinator for Disaster Relief with the North Carolina Baptist Men, coordinating volunteer teams in rebuilding houses and churches after the destruction of Hurricane Mitch. Upon returning from Honduras in January 2002, Larry served as the International Ministries Director for Baptist Metrolina Ministries in Charlotte, NC, a position he held until answering the call to become the Director of Missions for the Piedmont Baptist Association in Greensboro, NC in September 2003. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Western Kentucky University, and received a Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. Today Larry enjoys “Strengths Coaching” and mentoring pastors and church leaders. He also enjoys finding, refinishing and repurposing old, discarded furniture. Larry and Becky have two sons, Steve and Tim, and are the proud grandparents of five.

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