February 25, 2016

God Isn’t Cheap

With Phil Callaway
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God Isn’t Cheap

I like to ask audiences goofy questions. Sometimes I ask, “Is anyone here cheap?” A couple of brave and honest souls raise their hands. Then I ask, “Is anyone seated beside a cheap person?” Suddenly there are hundreds of people happy to introduce me to their cheap friends. I tell my wife, “I’m not cheap,…

I like to ask audiences goofy questions. Sometimes I ask, “Is anyone here cheap?” A couple of brave and honest souls raise their hands. Then I ask, “Is anyone seated beside a cheap person?” Suddenly there are hundreds of people happy to introduce me to their cheap friends. I tell my wife, “I’m not cheap,…

I like to ask audiences goofy questions. Sometimes I ask, “Is anyone here cheap?” A couple of brave and honest souls raise their hands. Then I ask, “Is anyone seated beside a cheap person?” Suddenly there are hundreds of people happy to introduce me to their cheap friends.

I tell my wife, “I’m not cheap, I’m frugal.” Frugal is when you say no to the three pound heart-attack-on-a-plate dessert in a restaurant because you’re saving for your college tuition. Cheap is when you don’t use hair gel, but bacon grease instead.

How can you know if you’re cheap? Well, you just might be a cheapskate if:

  • You find yourself haggling at the thrift store
  • Your glove compartment is stuffed with napkins from fast food joints
  • You refill your drink whenever you leave McDonald’s
  • You watch online movies with a friend’s password
  • You stand guard over your ceramic piggybank fourteen hours a day
  • You put the car in neutral when going downhill
  • You ask for doggy bags at a buffet
  • One of your rubber boots has a bread bag in it
  • You shop for an engagement ring at a pawn shop
  • You’ve taken to stuffing chopsticks and ketchup packages in your purse at restaurants

Well, I’m cheap. I admit it. I suffer from low-grade “chintzyness.”

The so-called world’s cheapest man was on TV recently. He pulls grapes off the stem at the supermarket before buying them. Every penny counts. He once gave his wife flowers, which took her by surprise, until she saw a sympathy card inside and he admitted he got them from a dumpster behind a funeral home.

Aren’t you thankful that God isn’t cheap? We live on an astounding planet surrounded by the infinite variety of an extravagant creation. Every snowflake, fingerprint and zebra stripe is unique. There are 9,000 kinds of birds and 200,000 varieties of flower. God made gorillas that sleep 14 hours a day, hens that lay 19 dozen eggs a year, and dogs with better eyesight than yours and mine. Female lions hunt while male lions rest. (Ah, I tell my wife, that’s the way it should be. She doesn’t find this funny.)

Psalm 19 says, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.” Psalm 95 echoes, “In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land.” On a clear night you can see 2,000 stars. Astronomers haven’t a clue how many there are, but believe there are 100,000 million stars in our little Milky Way galaxy alone. Beyond that, there are millions upon millions of other galaxies.

Creation is extravagant. So is God’s love. Psalm 36:5 says, “Your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies.” Deuteronomy 7 reminds us that, “the Lord your God is…the faithful God who lavishes his unfailing love on those who love him and obey his commands.”

Sometimes I have a chintzy mentality when it comes to my faith. I think God is up there hoarding stuff. And then I read in Romans 8: “Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else?” That doesn’t mean God is a vending machine, but he alone knows our needs and has promised to supply them according to his riches in glory.

Tell me, what would keep you from trusting a God like that?

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