"...and I will dwell in the House of the LORD forever!"

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Credited to the Wrong Account

We’ve all made banking blunders here and there, but hopefully you haven’t been as careless as British hairdresser, Sally Donaldson. Every month, Sally’s paycheck was automatically deposited into her personal bank account. Then, per Sally’s instructions, her bank would take these funds and automatically transfer them to a joint-checking account she shared with her husband at another bank. Sounds harmless, doesn’t it? Not really.

When Sally originally set up these automatic deposits and transfers, she gave her bank the wrong account number for the joint-checking account at the other bank. Approximately $40,000 (USA currency equivalent) later, Sally realized the account number she supplied was off by one digit. All of her transferred money had been given to someone else, and the transactions couldn’t be reversed. Two years of earnings had been credited to the wrong account! Expensive mistake.

Our loving God and Father in Heaven “credits accounts” the same way, but it’s on purpose. When we believe, obey, and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, we receive an amazing gift that’s credited to our account. In fact, it’s the same gift Abraham received nearly four thousand years ago. Paul describes the transaction in Galatians 3:6 when he writes, “Consider Abraham: He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”

What are you doing with the gift you didn’t deserve, but the credit you received? God makes us righteous so we can live righteous lives, proclaim His power, and advance His Kingdom. But if we don’t, we abuse the transaction. God just might say, “I credited it to the wrong account”, and unlike English banking regulations, God’s transactions are reversible!

Monday, February 4, 2013

A Receipt Reputation?

I’ve always known that being a waiter or waitress is a tough way to make a living, but I didn’t realize how tough until last week. A man who claimed to be a preacher left a “cheap” tip to say the least. He went to a restaurant, enjoyed his meal, and received a bill for $34.93 for his purchases. Due to the size of the party he was dining with (20 people), the restaurant added an automatic 18% gratuity ($6.29) to his tab. This obviously rubbed this “preacher” the wrong way, because at the top of the receipt he wrote, “I give God 10%. Why do you get 18?” Then, in the tip column, he wrote a large, emphatic ZERO. Some might find it humorous. I don’t know about you, but as a preacher, I find it embarrassing.

As Christians, we can assemble and worship all we want. We can sing with excitement, passion, perfect pitch and four-part harmony. We can teach classes, quote scripture, and give bountifully and generously. But until we make our faith a daily affair, we’re simply stage actors who write our own plays, and then act them out before fellow actors in the fortress of our buildings.

Paul wrote in Colossians 3:17, And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”Whatever you do”—that includes tipping the waiter or waitress who serves you so they can feed their families. God wants us to develop a good reputation inside and outside the family of God. Don’t let a receipt get in the way!