Loss and Profit — Morning Devotions - Hope 103.2

Loss and Profit — Morning Devotions

At the end of the day, everything we've gained or earned goes "back in the box" because we can't take it with us.

By Chris WittsSunday 16 Apr 2023Morning Devotions with Chris WittsFaithReading Time: 1 minute

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Well, the board game monopoly. It’s been very popular around the world. It’s an enjoyable game about buying, winning and losing and maybe in today’s digital and technological world, it’s a bit of an old-fashioned board game. But millions of people have played it and they become fascinated with this idea of winning big money or buying stocks and assets.

People want a good return on their money. We’re all looking, I think, for a solid investment. But with Monopoly, the board games and the pieces go back in the box, they’re packed away for another day. When the game’s over, it does get put away, doesn’t it?

And when you and I come to the end of our days, all the things that we’ve purchased, the trips we’ve taken, all the material possessions which have dominated our time and our attention to repair and maintain they all go back in the box as it were, because we take none of it with us. There’s an author by the name of Anne Lamott, and she says that we all want God but left to our own devices, we seek other things – possessions, money, good looks, power.

She said that because we think that will bring us fulfilment. This is what she said, but it actually turns out to be a joke because they’re all just props. And when we check out of this life, we’ve got to give them all back to the great prop master in the sky.

They’re just on loan. They’re not ours. They all go back in the box.

This reminded me of Bill Heels, the senior pastor of the Willow Creek Community Church in Illinois. And he wrote a book in which he described a meeting that he attended, at which the speaker stood up in front of the large group of people with a roll of stickers in his hand and behind him on the platform were tables filled with props of things that represented things in our life. There was a matchbox car, a doll house, a tiny desk and these were symbolic. They stood for jobs and other things in our life. Anyway, the speaker roamed the stage and he placed a red sticker on each of these items and he said to the crowd that they may not be able to see it from where they were sitting, but each sticker had one word on it and the word was temporary.

Everything he said that I’m putting a sticker on is temporary. It won’t last. It’ll fade away. We invest our emotions in them because we when we acquire these things, they give us a little thrill and we think that thrill will last. But it doesn’t. It fades, and eventually so will what we acquire, he said.

If you’re living for what you see up there, then what you’re living for is temporary. Temporary satisfaction, temporary fulfilment, temporary meaning. It’ll all come to an end, but you never will, and it will leave you with a terrible emptiness anyway. Bill Heels watched as the speaker put these red stickers and everything on the stage, and

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he walked before this room as it became very quiet. The ultimate fate of the greatest goods the world has to offer, he said, is the word that never appears on the ads of the TV, and he said, It’s the word temporary. There’s only one thing in this room, he said. That is not temporary. There’s only one item that you will be allowed to take with you from this life and to the next. He had a little girl who stood up on the stage, and he put a blue sticker on the collar of her dress and the sticker read the word forever.

And this is what he said When you get to the end of your life and you take your last breath, what do you want your life to be about that which is temporary or that which will last forever? Which is it, he said. That which will make you rich in the eyes of God. Well, we’re talking just a minute ago about Monopoly. And if you follow the real world of finance, we’re interested in investing for the future. But when it comes to spiritual issues, we have a hard time looking past tomorrow.

In fact, you know that Jesus spoke so much about money. In his parables, he understood that how we handle money is actually a spiritual matter. He understood where our treasure is, there also lies our heart. It’s about loss and profit. But the amazing thing is that Jesus’ loss actually became profit. And the Bible says it in this way. If anyone, as Jesus said, if anyone would come after me, he must deny himself, take up his cross and follow me for whoever wants to save his life will lose it. But whoever loses his life for me, the gospel will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world and yet forfeit his soul?

Let’s Pray

Heavenly Father, we know that it is true, and we acknowledge that most things are not really important. But it’s you and people that we should set our priority on. And I pray this in Jesus name, Amen.