January 25, 2008
A Nickel's Worth
by Fred Alberti, Crosswalk.com Communities Manager
But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you. Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell what you have and give alms; provide yourselves money bags which do not grow old, a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches nor moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
I admit I enjoy teaching my children things. I especially enjoy it when it means I can mess with their minds (I know, I'm evil, but you show me a parent who hasn't experimented by giving their baby something really sour just to enjoy their screwed up little faces and I'll show you a parent that hasn't take full advantage of the joys of parenting).
One joy is messing with their poor uneducated minds by offering the child the choice between a nice shiny nickel and a dirty cruddy dime. Ninety-nine percent of the time the child will take the nickel. You can stand there and argue with the child in your attempts to convince them that the dime is worth more but they'll still choose the nickel.
The dime is clearly worth more but it just can't beat the appeal of the nickel. Aren't we the same way? We scramble and squirm to get the treasures of this earth. At the same time we squander our opportunities to accumulate true wealth in heaven.
A missed opportunity to share what Jesus has done for you… a squandered treasure.
Giving a cup of coffee to a homeless person to warm his heart… a moneybag in heaven.
If our hearts are right with the Lord and if we are attentive to His leading we will not miss these opportunities for His kingdom. With the Lord's leading we will be able to see beyond our present circumstance to view these hidden treasures.
I'm reminded of the story in 1 Samuel 16 when Samuel was choosing a new king for Israel.
He was directed to go to the home of Jesse to anoint a new king..
When Samuel saw Jesse's first son he immediately concluded that this fine specimen of Israeli goodness had to be the one. He was shiny and clean and all consecrated for the sacrifice. But God had other plans. He said to Samuel, "Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."
God has his eye on someone else. Someone Jesse or Samuel had not even considered. David. He had to be brought out of the fields stinking of the sheep and the sweat of his brow. I imagine, being the youngest, that David was not content to just sit around while tending the flock. I imagine he was throwing stones, practicing his slingshot, and fighting imaginary lions and bears… just as any normal boy would.
It was this young man who came before Samuel… a young man sweating and stinking from the efforts of fighting his imaginary adversaries when God said, "Arise, anoint him; for this is the one!"
The grimy, dirty, dime… the true treasure of heaven.
Where are you investing your treasure?
Intersecting Faith & Life: Make a donation of dirty coins to your local homeless shelter or church mission fund. Start by collecting all the dirtiest coins you have in the house. Then go to your neighbor's house and ask them to also make a donation of dirty coins for you to add to your donation.