I recently read a story of a homeless man that lived on the streets in a large city. His father had died several years earlier leaving him a large sum of money. He was notified by the estate trustee, but had never made any effort to claim his portion of his father’s fortune. The trustee had spent several thousand dollars to locate the heir.
Finally, he was found living in an abandoned building with no electricity or water. The trustee caught a flight to the city, rented a car,and drove to the address where the man was staying. He told the fellow about his father’s death and also of his large inheritance. The man showed little interest in either and continued to warm his hands from a fire burning in a metal can.
Finally, the trustee left saying that he would be back the next day. When morning came, the trustee went out and rented a nice furnished apartment. He then filled the closets with new clothing and stocked the refrigerator and cabinets with groceries. That afternoon he returned to the building where his client’s son was staying and told him what he had done. His rent had been paid for a full year and he would begin receiving a check each month for the rest of his life. He gave the man keys to the apartment along with the address and told him to call if he needed anything more.
Over three months passed and the trustee was told that none of the checks had been cashed. Upon further investigation, he learned that the son had never spent a night in the apartment nor worn the clothes. The groceries were just as they had been. The homeless man just continued to live on the streets and beg. He would later die out there leaving his inheritance untouched.
Christians have been given an inheritance in heaven, yet they often choose to live like spiritual paupers while here on earth. Our Father wants us to lay claim to our treasures while we’re alive. These treasures are joy, peace, love, strong faith and many other riches that are available here for the taking. I sometimes wonder how many Christians will show up in heaven having never cashed in on any of these riches.
Now, think with me just for a moment. What does a smile cost us anyway? Are we sharing words of encouragement with those who desperately need them? Cash these in while you still can. Then spend them for the cause of Christ!
I think it was Jesus Himself who said in Mark 9:41,
For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.