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God Picks Up Our Tab

Wayne Cordeiro tells the following story in an interview with Preaching Today:

I have a friend named Gene who would take me to lunch every week. And every time we'd go to lunch, he'd insist on paying for it. I thought it was nice and that maybe it was his ministry, so I let him do it for the first 80 times or so. But after a while I said to him, "Gene, let me pay today. You always pick up the tab." He said, "No, no, no. I want to pick up the tab." I said, "Come on. I want to do this." He said, "No, no, no."

So the next week I got there early and said to the waitress, "When the bill comes, would you bring it straight to me?" She said, "Oh, Gene said you might do this, so I can't give it to you. I have to give it to him." I said, "Come on. You're kidding." She said, "No, that's what he said."

So I sat down and said, "Gene, would you let me pay for the lunch?" He said, "No, no. I'll pick up the tab." I said, "Gene, I want to pick up the tab." He said, "No." I said, "I yearn to pick up the tab." He said, "No." I said, "Gene, I'm starting to dream about picking up the tab." He said, "No, I want to pick up the tab." "I beg you," I said, "let me pick up the tab." He said, "No." Till this day I have not yet picked up the tab on lunch.

Listen carefully. Jesus has picked up your tab¬ónot once, not twice, but thousands of times. Because of that relationship, you start to feel compelled to do the same. We love because he loves; not because we learned it in Sunday school, not because we get points for it, not because we think we're going to gain or garner God's blessings if we do. We love because he first loved us.

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