There is a concept or deed that has become more familiar and more popular in our culture; it’s called “Pay It Forward.” Maybe you’ve driven through a Starbucks recently and the server tells you the car in front of you paid for your coffee. A few years ago there was even a movie staring Kevin Spacey and Helen Hunt by that name. In the movie a young student of a teacher who was played by Kevin Spacey came up with a concept of how we can change our world. It was a simple concept, you help three people who in turn help 3 people each and before long the entire world has been helped. He called it Pay It Forward.
This terminology actually dates back to 1916 when an author named Lily Hammond wrote a book entitled “In The Garden Of Delight.” In the book she wrote, “you can’t repay love, you pay it forward.” Today this concept has become a movement where we now have a Pay It Forward day on April 30th. Last year, 70 countries joined in on Pay It Forward day. I recently saw a report where a man drove though a Chick-fil-A and gave the cashier $1,000.00 and told them to pay for everyone’s food behind him until the money ran out. The manager told of several people who came through the drive through and started crying and shared how they were having tough times or it had been a tough day and that really made their day. I’ve now seen numerous stories of people Paying It Forward.
Hebrews 12:2 tells us, “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” We see here that the originator of Pay It Forward was Jesus. When Jesus went to the cross He was paying it forward. Romans 8:29 calls Him the “Firstborn among many brethren.” Col. 1:18 calls Him “the firstborn from the dead.” Jesus went to the cross to pay it forward so that mankind could be redeemed and restored to right relationship with the Father. Everything that Jesus did, He did it with you and I in mind. He was willing to sacrifice His own good for our good.
Think about it, Mankind has this selfish nature. The man Jesus dealt with this in the garden. We See Him asking the Father, “If there’s any way let this cup pass from me.” The flesh didn’t want to go to the cross. Then the selfless Jesus rose up and said, “Not My will but thine be done.” We all deal with this to some degree. We want it our way and we want it how and when we desire. Everyone of use has this character flaw. I can honestly say I have never met a person who doesn’t deal with this in some form or another. The challenge is to overcome this flaw and live a life that is selfless rather than selfish. When we learn this valuable lesson and then begin to apply it in our lives we really begin to Pay it Forward.
I can never repay God for the love, grace and mercy He has shown me but I can Pay it Forward to someone else by sharing that grace with someone I come in contact with.
Rich Fountain is the Student Pastor for Faith Life Center Church. They are located at 3778 Milliken/Hamner Ave Eastvale, CA 91752. They meet every Sunday at 8:30 am & 11 am.