(Jesus said) "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." Matthew 6:19-20
The story begins about a month ago in Vancouver, British Columbia.
This story centers around a homeless man who has asked that his name not be shared by the news organizations, which have been telling his tale. The public part of the man's account began when he found a suitcase on the street. Understand, this was not just any old suitcase; this was a suitcase with $2,000 in it.
Now nobody can tell you whether the man was tempted to keep the money for himself.
No, we don't know that, but we do know the homeless man took the suitcase to the police and turned it in. Later on, he explained: it was "the right thing to do." Now that story touched other folks and some of them began to raise money to help the homeless man. More than $5,000 was raised to help give the man a new start.
Now nobody can tell you if that man had a "check list" of the ways that money could be spent.
No, we don't know that, but we do know the homeless man declined the money for himself and asked it be given to a local homeless shelter. They contributors gave him time to reconsider. When they saw the homeless man the next day, he gave them a note. The note reaffirmed his desire to have the shelter benefit from the gift, but the man had now added a request.
He said he would sure appreciate it if someone might help him find permanent employment. By saying that, it shows he understood the old adage: "Give a man a fish, you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish, you feed him for his life."
You know, I wish the rest of the world were as wise as this nameless, homeless man.
Think about it for a moment. We are like that man in Vancouver. We've got nothing. But then the devil and the world walk in and say, "You know, you'd be happy if you owned this or had that or ...." Well, they come up with a million things that are supposed to make us happy.
And those things might do the trick ... for a short time.
But short-term satisfaction is not what we need. Short-term satisfaction doesn't change our circumstance or situation. What we need is something that lasts an eternity. Our happiness, hope and joy in life must be based on a gift that does not tarnish, which can't be lost or stolen.
And that's where the Lord steps in.
He says, "Here is My Son. Believe on Him as your Savior; rely on Him and your life now -- as well as throughout eternity -- will be transformed. Not only will you be forgiven all your sins, you will also have the assurance that the Lord is with you and always listening to you. Believe on Jesus as your Savior and you will have a home in heaven and a seat at the eternal banquet.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, grant that I have the wisdom to see the contrast between the time-sensitive gifts which are offered by the world and the devil and the eternal blessings which are provided by You, when we are given faith in the Savior. This I ask in His Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries