Put a nickel in

The old-time comedian Flip Wilson reminded us, "You cannot expect to hit the jackpot if you don't put a few nickels in the machine." There is much truth to this adage - we have to invest in life if we want to reap positive benefits from having lived it. As we cross the heavenly gate, do we want to hear, "Great job on getting that promotion", "Wonderful accomplishment with the multi-million-dollar corporation", or "Well done, thy good and faithful servant"? Where we invest our 'nickels' is as important as us putting a few of them 'in the machine'!

Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’ Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’ (Matthew 25:34-40)

The Kingdom of God is presented - will we invest what we have been given into God's Kingdom, or this one here on earth? It is a tough question we must each consider. We are given so much, yet we do so little with the 'much' we are given. I know some of you are saying you haven't been given much but consider that the men in this parable each received a 'small amount'. It is what they did with it that made it 'much'. Sometimes we have to take the 'little talent' God has given to us and just begin to use it for him. In using what we have, we find more is added.

What 'nickel' will you invest today? Will it be your time for the widow lady down the block who cannot keep up with her yardwork any longer? Could it be your gas to take someone to work for a week while their car is in the shop for needed repairs? Maybe you will invest a little time at the local library reading to children and developing their interest in exploring the world in books. You don't need to actually find a naked person to clothe them. Your words can envelop them in the praise they so seldom hear at home, or encourage them to do what they have been putting off for so long.

We cannot neglect those with a physical hunger and expect someone else to feed their bodies, but we also cannot neglect to feed their spirits as we do. We might find our world suddenly filled with opportunity today - will we invest our 'nickel' well? Just askin!

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