Andrew and Secundus’ Conversation Continued: Eternal Significance?June 30, 2016
Cheerful GivingJuly 14, 2016
Secundus frowned and said to Andrew, “Well, I didn’t like him challenging me about my money. These two Brothers were very nice, and sincere, but that’s not really what I was looking for. So I stuttered in response, “I’m not sure …,” but the 50 year old man interrupted me and said, “I’m curious, do you consider yourself Christ’s?”
Secundus frowned again and said, “I didn’t like that, either. So I said, somewhat indignantly, “Yes, I most certainly do. I was born again shortly after Pentecost.”
The man continued, kind, but purposeful, “Do you remember what Jesus said about our money being our master? He said we will have a master, there is no avoiding that. And the choice really boils down to either the Lord, or Satan – and if it’s Satan, count on him using our money as a trap.”
“Now wait a minute” Secundus said, but the man continued, undaunted.
“Whoever your Master is will have a hold on you. When your Master is the Lord, this hold is a loving and secure embrace. It is truly a freeing and liberating embrace. But when your master is money, it is Satan who has a strangling, vice-like grip on your heart.
“And there is no better way to see who your Master is than to look at the way, and where, you spend your money,” he continued. “That’s why Jesus said, ‘No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.’
“So if you ask us, young man, we’d say to set up your budget so you invest in the Lord’s Kingdom first, before you decide what to spend on yourself.”
“Look” the older man added, “It’s like this: Are you giving God your best, first? If so, he promises a life rich and meaningful and rewarding, overflowing with joy and contentment, both here and there. I only wish I had understood this when I was your age.”
“Well,” Secundus replied, a little defensively, “I do try to give, some, when I’m asked, and when I can. But I have to be practical, don’t I? I have to look out for myself and my family first, don’t I? At my age the cost of living is steep, and there’s not always a lot left over.”
“Oh, my friend, do you hear yourself?” the older man said, almost pleading. “You’re giving God what is left over, as in the … leftovers? Is that really what you want? If you think your cost of living is steep now, how do you think you’ll feel about your cost of dying, then? Because you’re spending on a world that is going my young friend, not investing forward in a world that is coming.”
“Spending on a world that is going, not investing forward in a world that is coming,” Andrew repeated. “Hmn, I like that. I’m going to remember that.”