|Vol. 13 No. 1 January 2011||
It was a day like most days before, and yet it was wonderfully different. When the rooster crowed early and he awoke to the dawning of a new day, he never imagined how life-altering this day would be.
Later in the day, the forty-something-year-old man had been brought to a prime location at the gate of the temple called “Beautiful.” There he had come to seek alms from beautiful spirited, benevolent countrymen coming to pray in the middle of the afternoon. He couldn’t work to provide a living, to purchase material goods, or a roof over his head. Why, he couldn’t even stand on his feet, for he had a disease that had afflicted him every single day of his life.
What a grand occasion in a public setting for the power and the glory of God to be set on display once again. Among the multitudes, along came Peter and John to pray. Peter and John approached the needy man, and whether they searched themselves for any spare coins we simply are not told. At Peter’s command, they fastened their eyes on one another and Peter spoke with confidence the cheer bringing words: “Silver and gold have I none, but such as I have give I unto thee. In the name of Jesus of Nazareth, rise up and walk” (Acts 3:6). Peter then took him by the right hand, lifted him up, and his feet and ankle bones immediately received strength. He jumped for joy and praised our God and Father.
The citizens of Jerusalem began to stir around the three men in amazement at what had just occurred to the man they’d known for decades as being impotent in his feet. How much silver and gold would the beggar have been willing to pay to be able to walk, to run, to leap? However, it was a gift of healing from the Lord that money couldn’t buy.
Even in a commercial the world asks, “What’s in your wallet?” In contrast God asks, “What’s in your heart? Who or what is first in your life? Where are you storing your treasures” (Matthew 6:19-20)? The mind and value system of Christ is diametrically opposed to that of the world. Any time we subscribe to the value system of the world, we automatically make ourselves enemies toward God. The Son of God teaches we cannot love God and mammon (Matthew 6:24).
Wal-Mart has a new slogan prominently displayed in its stores and used in radio ads: “Save Money. Live Better.” What you and I need to remember is that living better lives is not exclusively associated with saving money and having more cash in our pockets. While Wal-Mart and other retail stores seem to have all the goods, there simply is an abundance of goods frequently overlooked by most of us that can never be found on store shelves. God has an overflow of gifts, blessings and spiritual qualities He wants to pour out for our abundant living, and yet we have not, because we fail to ask (James 4:2). We need to hunger to be rich toward God. Many are starving and poor with reference to God.
Searching the shelves of your local store, you will never find contentment. Contentment cannot be manufactured, packaged, transported or sold. There is not enough money in the entire world to purchase an ounce of it. Yet, the Holy Spirit has revealed to us that godliness with contentment is great gain (1 Timothy 6:6). The spirit of contentment is set in contrast with the spirit of certain Christians that James addressed who were engaged in wars and fighting’s among themselves due to the lusts that, unfortunately, were continuing to war in their bodies. Contentment will never injure or destroy another individual for personal gain.
Searching the shelves of your local store, you will never find a good name. It cannot be bought with money. How precious is a good name! Again, the Spirit of God teaches us that “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold” (Proverbs 22:1). For what are you willing to sell your good name? How foolish we are when we trade it. It can never be bought back.
Searching the shelves of your local store, you will never discover virtue. It is not available in the smallest container. In Proverbs 31, the Holy Spirit reveals beautiful traits honorably displayed in the virtuous woman. The woman of vanity, however beautiful she may be in physical appearance, cannot rise to the worth of the virtuous woman who blesses her husband and her children by her self-respect, dignity and virtue. Her beauty is only skin thin and fades quickly. “Who can find a virtuous woman? For her worth is far above rubies” (Proverbs 31:10). Friend, neither virtue nor a virtuous woman can be bought with money.
Searching the shelves of your local store, you will never find the joy of salvation. Following David’s grievous sins by adultery and murder, and the confrontation by Nathan, God’s prophet, with a broken heart he petitioned the Lord to “restore unto me the joy of thy salvation” (Psalm 51:12). Friend, the joy that thrills our hearts resultant from God’s gift of salvation cannot be bought with money. The eunuch of Ethiopia had not been buying goods and services when he went on his way rejoicing (Acts 8:39).
Searching the shelves of your local store, you will never find peace. It has no selling price. The Holy Spirit reveals through Paul in Romans 5:1 that “being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ…” Inner peace resulting from the removal of our guilt and shame, peace with God which passes man’s comprehension, peace and tranquility in the home, peace and unity among God’s people cannot be bought with money.
Those glorious mansions, which never need repair due to deterioration, cannot be bought with money. Yesterday, the report was in the headlines that the Villa Leopolda on the French Riviera was sold to a Russian billionaire for $752 million. This was said to smash the previous record for the most expensive house in the world. The unnamed man’s $ 752 million cannot make the acquisition of even one tiny room of a mansion located in the far back corner of that city of gold. The real estate in heaven cannot be bought with money. It is God’s gift – an inheritance to his faithful children.
In conclusion, we note the worldly mind despises the true treasures that have no price tag. Which is more precious to us, the things that are temporal, or the things that are eternal? How wise or how foolish will our choices be? “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:21).