“I give God 10%. Why do you get 18?” (with a response from John Wesley)

WNhIP9CYou know the stereotype about the cheapskate Sunday lunch church crowd who shortchange servers on their tips? Well, one pastor in St. Louis decided to try her best to live into this stereotype. She was mad that her church group got a mandatory gratuity charge for their gathering so she wrote on her receipt, “I give God 10%. Why do you get 18?” And then the server put the receipt up on the atheism page on reddit. Nice witness!!! Well I thought I would share some choice words from John Wesley for that pastor and any other Ebenezer Scrooges out there in the church Sunday lunch crowd. ***UPDATE: The pastor was identified; she complained to Applebee’s and got the server fired. Please pray that the server will be able to get a new job and that the pastor will be sanctified by this experience and not harassed by strangers. Continue reading

Is God free to be generous? [Matthew 20:15]

As I was reading the scripture for my sermon in church this evening, a dimension of the text jumped out at me that I hadn’t zeroed in before. The text is the parable of the workers in the vineyard: Matthew 20:1-16. If you’re unfamiliar, in this parable, Jesus describes the kingdom of heaven as being like a landowner who hires a bunch of workers, some at 6 am, others at 9 am, and still others at noon, 3 pm, and 5 pm, and he pays them all the same amount. When the early birds get angry that the latecomers got the same wage, the landowner responds in this way:

‘I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you. Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’ Continue reading