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Send It Ahead: An Investment Opportunity (published in The Tribune 9/18/10)

posted Sep 7, 2013, 1:15 PM by Fccea Webmaster
Benjamin Leese of East Berlin, Pennsylvania, asked his third-grade Sunday School students: "What is a prophet?" One young boy quickly replied, "When someone makes a good investment!"

Everyone is on the lookout for a good investment in these days of economic downturn. People are flocking to bonds and short-selling in record numbers just trying to preserve capital. A really good investment seems like a thing of the past.

I have a recommendation. You may not have thought of Jesus as a financial adviser before, but listen to this: "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal" (Matt 6:19-20).

The implications of this advice are staggering. Jesus is actually suggesting that while you can't take it with you you can send it on ahead! Talk about planning for the future! The question is, are we wise enough and have we faith enough to take this challenge -- to lay up treasure in heaven.

Perhaps you saw Mr. Hollands Opus -- a very engaging movie. Mr. Holland, played by Richard Dreyfus, dreams of fame and fortune as a music composer. But, honoring the obligations imposed by daily life circumvent his heart's desire. It gradually dawns on him that his future is teaching high school students, not conducting a philharmonic. Instead of publishing a symphony, he writes grade cards. The dream eventually dies.

Adding insult to injury, after more than 30 years of teaching, his job is downsized. But as he is carrying his boxed belongings out the door, he is summoned to one final assembly. There he finds an auditorium filled with friends and relatives.

As they rise to honor him, he is led to the podium, presented with a baton and directed toward an orchestra full of ex-students whose lives he had touched. At long last, he directs the opus that he had managed to write in spare moments but which had never been performed. Not a dry eye remains.

But, of course, his real opus was not the music; his opus was the beautiful notes ringing out from those lives he had invested in year after year. Unwittingly, he had created something greater than his dream.

What Jesus is really asking in Matthew 6 is that we knowingly and purposefully do what Mr. Holland did accidentally. For those who know Him as Lord, He is advising against putting everything into the demonstrably unstable world of temporal investments. Even in the best case, it will all soon be left behind. Instead, He is teaching us that time and money and resources invested here from the heart in serving others and bringing them to Him will not only transform their lives but will result in reward for us in the life to come -- 100% guaranteed. A solid investment for hard times -- for any times.

A wealthy Christian lady died and arrived in heaven. She was shown to her rather modest home. Noticing a mansion across the street, she asked who it belonged to. She was told it was that home of her gardener. Perplexed -- sure that a mistake had been made, she questioned how housing was assigned. She was told it was not an assignment. It was simply that each person's home was built with materials they had sent on up ahead of time. Faithfulness on earth counts in heaven. Send something on ahead.