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"For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?" (Matthew 16:24-26). "For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it" (1 Timothy 6:7).
Saturday morning I went to a farm auction in our neighborhood where an entire 95 acre farm was being sold all at once (land, house, and buildings). Eli, an Amish friend, had bought the farm about 19 years ago intending to move his family to this part of the county but never did. For about three years Eli's son, Jesse and his wife, Anna Ruth, newly married, made their home on this property. They also gave birth to their first three children in this house so the sale was kind of like saying good-bye to a very good friend.
The sale began promptly at noon and in a very short time the farm sold for $13,100 per acre. It was an interesting experience and the farm went to a family that will grow flowers so that should be interesting and especially pleased Brooksyne. Many of the large properties in Lancaster County sell to developers and that surely would have changed the landscape of our neighborhood.
Eli did very well in the sale, making a substantial earthly profit, although I suppose he might wonder if he had waited longer he might have gotten even more! But it has been a very good earthly investment for him, increasing in value some three times what he paid for it back in 1990. As I drove the family back to their home in Strasburg I shared with Eli's daughter-in-law Anna Ruth that I knew there was a spiritual lesson in this. She then recalled today's Scripture and the need for a healthy Biblical outlook on monetary profit. We shared concerning the vast distinction between earthly profit and eternal profit.
Our church has had an interesting practice. Each month we encourage the entire congregation to memorize a "verse of the month." We begin each service by standing and quoting the verse together. As the month progresses more and more can recite the verse with confidence and God's Word is "hidden" in the hearts of His people. (See Psalm 119:11.)
Many years ago today's Scripture was the memory verse. It has especially impacted me due to a framed print that hung in my office for many years, a calligraphed version by a Canadian by the name of Walter Kember. *
These solemn words of our Lord ought to be scrolled deeply onto the tablets of our hearts and established in our minds. "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?"
Jesus very pointedly asks two rather simple questions. He doesn't answer them, for the answer is obvious. Indeed many are seeking to gain the world, and in the process give little or no attention to their soul. Many who are recognized as very successful by this world's standards ignore their soul to their own eternal damnation.
We need to remember that we are but stewards in this life. We are called to manage the property and affairs of another. Our treasure, time and talents (work skills) and indeed our very life are gifts from God. We belong to Him. When it's all over on this side this much is for certain, "We brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it." Let us never forget that!
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily Prayer: Father, Your Word declares that this world is not our home, we're just passing through, on our way to heaven. Help us to keep this perspective daily as we set financial goals and the exchange of earthly goods. We get financially entangled and emotionally distraught over those transactions that tie our affections to this perishing world. Fix our hearts and minds upon that which satisfies the soul and stores our treasures in heaven.
* I have seen prints of this Scripture and several others in churches all through the northeast. I recall an auto dealership in South Central PA that has one in each office. The Scripture verses have a stamped inscription on the back: "WALTER KEMBER Sarnia Canada "A sinner saved by grace" "Gathered in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ." Made in Canada DO NOT SELL". Walter Kember apparently saw it as his ministry to freely prepare and distribute them as a witness and blessing to others.
Amish Farm Auction
The auction was held in a rennovated chicken house. I stood at the back and didn't have a very good view. The auctioneer is in the center of the photo facing the crowd.
I took this photo from a second floor balcony seconds before the auctioneer hollered "SOLD".
Email here. I'll share the interesting answer tomorrow.
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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