Thursday, September 11, 2008
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Any time I'm planning to be in New York City, I make sure I have some loose change and some small bills; I know I'll need it for tips. Maybe for a parking lot attendant, a cab driver, maybe a waitress. Actually, tipping is a way of life in America. Here's what the dictionary says it is: "A small percent of money given directly to someone for performing a service." A tip is a small thank you, nothing major, loose change stuff. And that's appropriate as a response to a small service but not to a total sacrifice.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "No Tipping Allowed."
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from Matthew 6:33-34. It says this, "Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Jesus is setting up here the priority structure that should govern the lives of anyone who is following Him, and it's pretty simple. Make sure God always gets His first.
But often Jesus has to wait in a long line behind our business, our friends, our family, our recreation, our ambitions, and our needs. Then we fish around in the loose change of our life and give Him a tip, a small thanks for a total sacrifice. In the words of Romans 8:32, "God did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all." That's worth more than a tip that costs you little. Or in the words of David, "Shall I bring to the Lord that which costs me nothing?"
Life at its best always gives to God off the top. Let's start with money, whether you have a lot or a little. There's no tithe law anymore, but don't you think love should start where law left off and go from there? Financially, seek first God's interests - you give to Him before you do anything else with the money you have received.
And how about your schedule? We need to say, "With my busy schedule, I'm seeking Him first." Daily time to spend with Jesus is supposed to be the anchor of your schedule, it is non-negotiable. And be sure you save some prime time for the work of His Kingdom, too.
Jesus also deserves the best of your talents and your dearest possessions. Who really owns that car of yours, that house, that music, that wardrobe, those books? Jesus' Name should be all over everything. He should have prior claim to how it all gets used since He paid for your life with His life on a cross!
Will you make Jesus' share the sun around which everything must revolve, or is Jesus really just one of your planets revolving around something else that you've put in the center? Doesn't the Bible say, "You shall have no other gods before me"? Give Jesus His money first, His time first, His use of your talents first, your possessions first.
It may seem risky, but it's not nearly as risky as giving your Savior less than your best. You give God His and you don't have less, you have more. What did Jesus say? "All these things will be given to you...do not worry." God is your Father, not your waiter. He's your Lord, not your chauffeur. And He gets your very best. You don't worship your Lord and Savior by just giving Him tips.