No Longer Broke

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Are you broke? If your tires are balder than your great granddad, and you’re reusing coffee grounds, you are broke. If you find yourself googling “recipes for roadkill,” and make regular trips to pawn shops to visit your stuff, you, my friend, are broke. I grew up below what our government calls the poverty line, so I know a little about this. Someone gave my mother a recipe for budget breath mints. It’s ideal if you’re short on cash and hosting a dinner party. Here it is: Take one tube of toothpaste, preferably mint flavored. Place in freezer for 4 hours. Cut open and slice contents into wafer-thin pieces. Serve chilled. Satisfies up to 44 guests and gives them something to talk about.

 

Natasha can relate to being broke. She worked at a Domino’s Pizza in Pickering, Ohio. One Sunday, she was asked to deliver a pizza to a local church. When Natasha arrived with the $5.99 pizza, she was summoned up to the stage by the pastor, Steve Markle. She walked nervously onto the platform. “What’s the biggest tip you’ve ever received?” Steve asked Natasha. “Ten dollars,” she replied. Steve said to her, “Natasha, we’ve been teaching our church this last month about being generous, and so we did something special for you today. We took a special offering for a tip for you.” And that’s when the Reverend handed over a bulging wad of cash. “This is $1,046 to be exact,” he said with a grin, “and I hope this can help you. Natasha broke down in tears. “Thank you so much—thank you everybody.”

 

Pastor Steve was wrapping up a sermon series called “I was Broke. Now I’m Not,” about the riches we have in Christ. Each Christmas season we celebrate the fact that God went “broke” for us. He owned every last atom in the universe. Yet he stepped down from his throne in heaven and was born as the most helpless one among us. Born in a barn, into a poor family. Why would he do this?

 

The Apostle Paul gives the answer in 2 Corinthians 8:9: “You know the generous grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty he could make you rich.” Jesus was born that very first Christmas, so that you could be truly rich. Not in breath mints, or money or stuff, but in things we can’t cram in our coffins, in things that last forever. Jesus experienced our poverty, our hunger, our pain, and He died in our place, as our substitute.

 

Next time you order a pizza and follow it up with a breath mint, I hope you’ll remember God’s grace, and pass it along.

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