Recheck Your Oven

The Latest Word from John Ed Mathison

Where are valuable things secure?

An Australian man sold his beloved sports cars to make a mortgage payment. He wanted to be sure that the money was safe so he hid the $15,000. He concluded that the safest place to hide it was to put the cash in the oven at home. He was sure that nobody would find it there.

An unexpected thing occurred. After he put it in the oven for safe keeping, his wife, who seldom ever used the oven, turned on the oven to cook some chicken nuggets for their children. She didn’t realize what was wrong until she discovered smoke in the kitchen. The man said dejectedly, “It was everything I had. I’ve got nothing to my name.”

Where is a safe place to keep important treasures? One obvious place is to put them in stocks and bonds. I asked a man the other day what he did for a living and he said, “I am in securities.” I thought for a moment – in securities and insecurity are closely related!

Stocks and bonds are not really secure. When I retired in 2008 I had a 401k. Now it is a 101k! What I thought was pretty safe really isn’t.

The word security literally means “without anxiety.” We call stocks and bonds securities, but they are not “without anxiety.” If you want to see the opposite of “without anxiety,” go down to a brokerage house and observe the people who stand around and watch the tickertape indicating what the stock market is doing.

Even banks have come under a lot of fire in recent years. We recently learned that some people have been manipulating Libor, one of the world’s most important benchmark interest rates. Libor determines the price of an estimated $800 trillion. The dishonesty of Libor didn’t affect everybody – just anybody who has ever borrowed any money! To show the magnitude of the problem, one bank, Barclays, has been fined $450 million. It is reported that today only one in five Americans still have total confidence in banks.

Where is something safe? Jesus was very clear when He said, “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven where moths and rust cannot destroy and thieves do not break in and steal.” (Matthew 6:19, 20)

The lesson is tough to learn, but the choice is simple. We can either spend our time and energy investing in things that we try to make secure here on earth, but thieves and rust and moths are always at work. The one place that is always safe is when we store our treasures in heaven!

Real security is investing in eternal things – no thieves, rust, moths, or ovens there!!!!

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