August 13, 2020
Volume 24, Number 28
Visitors to the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores quickly come to a beautiful display: a 30-foot high Smoky Mountain Waterfall. One can stand by the handrail and look down into the chasm below, imagining they are deep in the forests of Appalachia.
Officials at the aquarium recently decided to make good use of their slower-than-usual business, so they drained the waterfall exhibit. What they found revealed how many visitors viewed the exhibit – as a wishing well. By the time all the coins below were gathered (not to mention eyeglasses, toys, and jewelry), enough was found to fill 100 gallon buckets! The calculated total of those coins has not yet been announced.
I’ll have to admit that I’ve pitched a few pennies into fountains and wells. I never really believed anything would come of the wish, but it seemed like a fun and inexpensive thing to do. Others, I’m sure, put a lot of faith into their pitches. But like blowing out the candles on your birthday cake, don’t hold your breath waiting to receive that for which you’ve wished.
Jesus watched as a poor widow threw two coins, not into a well, but into the temple treasury. It wasn’t “money to burn”, but “her whole livelihood,” Jesus said in Mark 12:44. The Lord didn’t regard her as foolish, though: “… this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury … she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood” (Mark 12:43,44).
Was Jesus motivated by greed or callous disregard of this woman’s poverty? Not at all; He was looking ahead to her far-brighter future: “… lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:20,21).
Was the Good Samaritan a wealthy man? Jesus didn’t say. But when this man saw someone in need he shared his own resources in order to help address those needs. He used his own bandages, oil, and wine to give first aid, and then took two denarii – two days’ wages! – out of his wallet to provide shelter for the man while he recovered (see Luke 10:34,35). Jesus commended the way this Samaritan “threw his money” into heavenly storehouses: “Go and do likewise” (Luke 10:37).
C.T. Studd (1860-1931) wrote a poem that few of us have read in its entirety, but you may have heard these famous lines: “Only one life, ’twill soon be past; only what’s done for Christ will last.” He was correct in that assessment. Worldly fame, fortune, power, etc. will all crumble over time. But the things we give in service to the Lord – the investments we make in heaven’s storehouse – will last throughout eternity.
Come to the light God offers! Study His word, the Bible. Worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:24). Get in touch with us if you’d like to discuss these ideas further.
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Copyright, 2020, Timothy D. Hall. All scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from the New King James Version (Copyright, 1990, Thomas Nelson, Inc.).
“LightGrams” is produced by the Central Church of Christ, 2722 Oakland Avenue, Johnson City, Tennessee, 37601, and is written by Tim Hall, minister. It is sent free of charge every Thursday to all who request it. To subscribe or to receive more information, write to “Tim@GraceMine.org” (our E-mail address), to the U.S. mail address above, or call (423) 282-1571.
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