On this day in 1964, the Beatles released their Can’t Buy Me Love album, the largest advance-selling record in history. Over 2 million customers pre-ordered the album, and the title song became the only single ever to rocket to the top of the charts from a ranking below No. 20 the previous week. This record remained intact for 38 years, broken in 2002 by American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson with her debut single, “A Moment Like This,” which leapt from #52 to the top.
“Can’t Buy Me Love” is not just the title of a Beatles’ tune; it is also the definition of grace. God’s love can’t be bought in a store, earned at the workplace, or won on the playing field. Grace simply is. As such, it can only be received—and passed on as the priceless gift that it is.
Years ago, I heard a story from a pastor. A woman in his congregation was upset about his Sunday sermon on grace. She cornered him after the service and demanded to know if she had heard him correctly.
“Are you telling me that God loves us apart from our works?” she asked, her voice crackling with irritation.
“That’s right,” the pastor patiently replied.
“And we’re saved only through faith and nothing else?”
“That’s what the Bible teaches.”
The woman stomped her foot, indignant. “Do you mean to tell me that all those pies I’ve baked for the church socials mean nothing to God?”
The Bible tells us that we are saved by grace and not by pie-baking—or anything else, for that matter. If we believe that we are getting to heaven by our own works, then we are working for the wrong person.