Summary: Thanking God for the gift of eternal life.

Five Finger Discount

gregg barbour. the Point. 6/2/03

When I was a junior in high school, I worked at a grocery store called Publix. My brother, and my best friend also worked there. We had some what of a commaradery while we were there, and anytime there was a rejection of authority, we were involved. We hated our jobs so much, and the fact that we couldn’t accept tips for always carrying groceries out made us hate it even more. We didn’t get paid enough as it was, and we couldn’t even accept the 50 cent that good ole Mrs. BlueHair wanted to give us. We came up with a master plan to make up for those missed wages. Publix supermarket also had a deli, and they made the best subs and chicken fingers in the world as far as we were concerned. Our plan was called the five finger discount. You see, we figured that since we worked at this supermarket, we had a right to a discount, and since they weren’t going to just give it to us, we decided to make use of it on our own. During our breaks from bagging groceries, we would walk over to the deli, and order 5 chicken fingers each, and then walk around the store pretending to shop, while stuffing our face with chicken that was finger lickin’ good. As soon as we finished we’d go to the bathroom and trash the evidence. It was a perfect plan, we would take our five finger discount and be full to boot. The good part is that we never got caught, but the bad part is that God saw it and he totally made us pay in other areas. You can never get away with stealing, that’s not the point of the story, but I say all that to say this. I have since figured out a five finger discount that helps me stay aware of what God has done for me, and how much he loves me. I call it the five finger discount.

Everybody in here has two hands. Everybody in here has five fingers on each hand, right? Ok, everybody hold up one hand and look at your fingers. Now say these five words after me….”I SHOULD BE IN HELL.” This, my friends, is the five finger discount. You see, every time that I feel like things are going wrong, and that I’ve messed up again, I say the five finger discount. “I SHOULD BE IN HELL.” Every time I think about awful life is and how I never have enough time, or enough money to do the things I want, and how I’m always wanting and wanting more and more stuff, I say the five finger discount. “I SHOULD BE IN HELL.” You see, there’s no excuse for the things that we do all the time that we shouldn’t. And it’s so amazing that because of the stuff we do or we have done, the finger finger discount is in place: “I SHOULD BE IN HELL.” ….for stealing chicken fingers, for talking ugly to my parents, for going too far with my girlfriend, for cheating on a test, for thinking awful thoughts about that homeless person, or that person that doesn’t look like me or smell like me, for saying awful things about my neighbors, for losing my temper over a game, or for whatever it is that you’ve done that has disappointed God. For those things, “I SHOULD BE IN HELL.” There’s no reason why I don’t deserve it, I’m a horrible person, rotten through and through. From the very beginning, I’ve been deceitful and wicked. Jeremiah says “the heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure….” Because my heart is like that, “I SHOULD BE IN HELL.”

We could go on and on about hell, and why we deserve it, but I want to take a different road. Let’s look at what the five finger discount means to me. You see, I SHOULD be in hell, but that’s not where I’m going. Even though, I deserve every bit of it, that’s not what God wants for me. That’s not what he wants for you either. Let’s look at the Word. (Romans 8:28, 31-39) You see, God gave up his Son so that we could be with Him…and if He gave up his Son, how much more will He give us that ask for it? If God is on our side, and I can tell you He is, who can be against us. Satan wants to take you to hell, dragging you kicking and screaming, but God won’t let Him. You see, we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us. You have such tremendous supernatural power at your fingertips that you don’t even realize. You are MORE than conquerors. Satan can’t win, if you have God on your side. Vs. 38-39 are my most favorite verses. “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels, nor demons, neither the present nor the future, not any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus.” Have any of you seen CJ and Trent race for the front seat of the car. These guys are relentless…they always want the front seat. That’s how God’s love is for you…His love is relentless, never giving up, always trying to reach you and overpower you so that He’s in the front seat of your life. There’s only one thing that keeps CJ out of the front seat. He’s bigger and stronger than Trent, and throws him around like a rag doll, but many times, CJ doesn’t get the front seat. There’s only one thing that keeps Him out of it…CHOICE! CJ often chooses to let Trent have the front seat because He’s such a nice guy. Your choice is similar. Your choice to reject God’s love is the only thing that will separate you from Him forever. How can you resist such a love that is bigger, stronger, and more relentless in never giving up that anything you can imagine. Your choice to reject that love will send you to an eternity without him, and instead of, “I SHOULD BE IN HELL.” It’s “I WILL BE IN HELL.” The five finger discount choice is yours. You can choose to be overwhelmed by God’s love and be stunned at how much God loves you tonight. “I SHOULD BE IN HELL.” I deserve it, but I am convinced that nothing can separate me from the love of God that is displayed through His Son, on a cross. A love so amazing that we can’t help but be astonished.

As this next song plays, do business with God, thank Him for his gift, for his love, or come and receive it tonight.

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