I collected pennies in my childhood. My grandparents collected nickels, dimes, and quarters. I could only afford to collect pennies. I would sort through heaps of well-worn coins, picking out the wheat pennies. I was especially fond of the steel pennies made during World War II. My grandmother gave me collection books to sort the pennies by year and minting location.
I was certain that my coin collection would be worth a small fortune when I grew into adulthood. I suppose that’s what happened. Take a penny from 1921. These days an average penny from 1921 is worth 75 times it’s original value! Of course, that means it’s only worth 75 cents. A mint condition 1921 penny can be worth up to 120 dollars. What other investment can give us a thousand percent increase on our initial investment? My childhood coin collection is probably worth a few hundred dollars. The real treasure was spending time with my grandparents, not securing my retirement collecting coins.
Jesus said, “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” (Matthew 6:19-21).
Bethany Covenant Church was founded in 1921. The congregation was not rich. A few years before my grandparents attended Bethany in the Forties, the congregation met in a basement. There was no structure above them. Someone once told me that the folks at Bethany Covenant Church called themselves “gophers” because they met underground.
From modest beginnings, Bethany Covenant Church grew. Every offering, every sermon, every hymn, every baptism, every conversion, and every act of kindness have added up to something really special. These days, the church facility is comfortable and beautiful. More importantly, the investment of church people over the past century have added up to more than a ten thousand percent return our their initial investment! Our two cents have added up to be worth a real treasure in heaven!
If you want to see a miraculous return on your time, money, and passion, invest in the kingdom of heaven. Give to church. Support missionaries. Feed the hungry. Tutor a child. Work in the garden. Share your faith. You may not see the miraculous return on your investment until you are welcomed into eternal life. Then again, you may see God’s blessing show up in this world, the way it has consistently for the first 100 years at Bethany Covenant Church. God has given you every penny, every second, and every blessing in your life. Let’s remember to invest those gifts wisely in the Kingdom of God.