The Christian Public Servant – “those quarters belong to God”

God's quarters1

November 6, 2017 – Monday

Reading

John 6:31(b) [NIV] as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’

Matthew 6:19-21 [NIV] Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Reflection

Twice a month I take off work to visit my friend on Alabama’s death row. As I enter the building, there are three vending machines. Visitors can bring a maximum of $40 in quarters and, because the food is so outrageously expensive, quarters go quickly. I don’t mind spending $40 of quarters because I can afford it and, besides, those quarters belong to God, not me.

At a recent visit, I noticed three young ladies staring at the vending machines. They were visiting their dad, and it was obvious they didn’t have a whole lot of quarters. I suspect they couldn’t afford the quarters and, by the looks on their faces, they were in sticker-shock over the prices. Plus, each looked as if their dad would somehow be disappointed by not having something to eat during the visit.

I tried to give them some quarters, but they declined. Well, God then intervened, like He did with manna from heaven. I put in $5 of quarters to buy a single sandwich for my friend, and two sandwiches came out of the machine. Coincidence? This happened three times! And while it did not happen a fourth time, it didn’t have to because He gave me enough sandwiches so each daughter could give one to their dad. And while the girls were still hesitant to take the sandwiches, saying the quarters belonged to me, I told them those quarters belong to God, not me. Each smiled knowing she now had something to give to dad in the visitation yard.

Be careful about what you store up as treasures today at work. As you walk by a vending machine, look around. Remember those quarters belong to God, not you. Use them to bless someone else. And if you do, your treasure will be in heaven, where your heart wants to be.

Prayer

Father God, You bless me so much in this world. Do not let me view those blessings as personal treasures. Let me use them to glorify You, for I know my treasure will be in heaven – where my heart wants to be. In Your Son’s name, I pray. Amen.

James D. Slack, Ph.D., Ph.D.
Jackson State University
Jackson, Mississippi USA

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