February 24, 2009


Ephesians 3:7-12

This grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ …
Ephesians 3:8


Some years ago while browsing in Idyllwild, a California mountain village, my wife and I discovered The Costermonger, a pleasant little shop selling goods from England and Scotland. The first question as we entered the store was, of course, “What is a costermonger?” We learned that a costard is an English cooking apple and a monger is a dealer or seller. Costermongers loaded their carts with apples and peddled them through the streets of English towns. Eventually the word described a person offering any kind of goods.

Today we often hear the word monger used in a negative sense. A monger tries to spread something discreditable—for example, a gossipmonger or a warmonger.

I have asked myself, “What kind of a monger am I?” I am delighted to realize that I am a gospelmonger, a gracemonger, a Christmonger. In the words of Paul, “I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace.” Or, as he wrote to the Corinthians, “We do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, like men sent from God” (2 Corinthians 2:17).

Every believer shares Paul’s privilege. We do not sell or peddle; we offer heaven’s best gift at the world’s best price. “Let your conversation be always full of grace” (Colossians 4:6). Gracemongers indeed!

God of all grace, keep us alert today for every opportunity to spread the gospel of your grace in Christ. May we be gracemongers for your sake and in Jesus’ name. Amen.

About the author — Dale Vander Veen

Dale Vander Veen is a retired Christian Reformed pastor who with his wife, Edith, has ministered in California, Washington, and Michigan. They have three married children and six grandchildren. He currently writes a daily e-mail series of devotions.

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