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Hold on to What You Have

  • Buy a home security system.

  • Get a safe-deposit box.

  • Purchase online protection.

  • Diversify your investments.

  • Buy gold.

  • Bury your gold and hope no one finds it.


It is right to protect what you own. Jesus said, “But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into” (Matt. 24:43). There were plenty of thieves in Jesus's day. The world has its share of them today. We owe it to ourselves, our families, and the church not to waste what God gives us or to allow others to take it.

Stealing is everywhere—online, in stores, at work and in the government. Are we surprised? “Thou shalt not steal” is a law of God, and the more our society turns away from that law the worse this and other crimes will be. Major cities have turned a blind eye to vandalism and looting. Shoplifting is now a misdemeanor in many states. Thieves steal without fear because they know many businesses will not press charges if the goods stolen are worth less than a thousand dollars. A generation is learning fast that crime pays.

At the same time, we must be careful not to go too far with this fear. We can become more concerned about losing our money than losing our souls.

The Roman army trapped the Jews inside the walls of Jerusalem in the siege of 70 A. D. Knowing that the Romans would take all their possessions, some Jews came up with a plan to secure their assets. They sold their property to other Jews for gold. Then they swallowed the gold and surrendered to the Roman soldiers. But their enemies found out what they were doing. Barbarians in the army caught these haughty Jews and cut their bellies open to take their gold. They learned all too late what countless others have discovered: there is no real, absolute security of material possessions in this life. We live in a world where it is possible for gangs or armies of thugs to take our possessions and even our lives.

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. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matt. 6:19-21). Paul said that rich people are not to “trust in uncertain riches but in the living God” (I Timothy 6:17). Money is uncertain. It can be here today and gone tomorrow. A man can be rich one day and broke the next. The one thing we can know for sure is this: “we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content” (I Tim. 6:7).

In the end, you can't save your money and your money can't save you. The Bible says all that we have will be burned up at the last day. “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up” (II Pet. 3:10). We may think we cannot afford to lose what we have. The truth is that we cannot afford to lose the only thing we can keep—our soul.

Kerry

West End church of Christ bulletin article for February 26, 2023

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