What’s it worth?

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And whosoever remaineth in any place where he sojourneth, let the men of his place help him with silver, and with gold, and with goods, and with beasts, beside the freewill offering for the house of God that is in Jerusalem.

-Ezra 1:4

She stared at the huge chunk of rusted metal that sat on her husband’s flatbed trailer.

“You paid how much for that?” She asked.

“$900,” he replied.

“I wouldn’t have paid 50-cents,” she responded.

Such is the life of a couple where the husband collects classic cars, and the wife knows how to drive a car.

The rusted chunk of metal on the flatbed trailer was one of the first 1964 1/2 Mustangs to roll off of Ford’s assembly line in Detroit. Knowing this, the husband valued the car in its current state at $750, but wound up paying $900 after being bid up at an auction.

Why pay more? Because he knew that, after he sanded the rust, applied primer, painted, reupholstered, and rebuilt the engine and drive train, that newly restored Mustang would be worth at least $20,000 to a collector. You see, the value of anything is determined by what you are willing to pay for it.

In Ezra 1, the Lord stirred the spirit of King Cyrus, who called upon the people of Israel to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple. To finance this project, he ordered the return of the gold and silver vessels taken from the Temple during the Babylonian captivity, and called upon the people to contribute financially to the project. Ezra 1:6 says the people did just that:

 And all they that were about them strengthened their hands with vessels of silver, with gold, with goods, and with beasts, and with precious things, beside all that was willingly offered.

The rebuilding of the Temple was so important to King Cyrus that he gave the gold and silver vessels that were handed down to him from a previous invasion to be used for the Temple. The Bible says there were 5,400 vessels made of precious metal handed over.

While the argument is valid that those vessels belonged to the Lord in the first place, it was still a huge transaction for a pagan king who had not been raised in the faith. Just as God stirred Cyrus to make this contribution, He stirred the hearts of the people to financially donate to the rebuilding of the Temple as well.

From this, we learn that if God has stirred your heart, it will affect your pocketbook. If you have been moved by God’s grace in your life, you will want to see that happen in the lives of others. That will motivate you to financially support ministries that carry out the Gospel.

Whether you give, and how much you give, will be determined by how much you value seeing God move in the lives of others. Again, the value of anything is determined by what you are willing to pay for it.

When we began this post, we noted the difference in value of an old Mustang based on who was looking at it. The wife, who had no interest in classic cars, saw an old hunk of metal, and assessed no value to it. Her car enthusiast husband saw the value of the restored classic, and assessed a higher value to it, and thus was willing to pay more.

In the Spiritual life, there are two types of individuals: those who see the church as a milquetoast institution with a pastor who works two days a week, and those who see the potential lives changed through the missionary efforts of that church. The one who sees the latter will value the church more, and thus will be a more faithful financial supporter.

In which camp do you find yourself today?

Leland Acker has served as the pastor of Life Point Baptist Church since its inception in 2008. Life Point meets for Sunday School at 10 a.m., Sunday Worship at 11 a.m., and meetings are held at the Early Chamber of Commerce/Small Business Incubator Facility at 104 E. Industrial Dr. in Early, TX, pending the construction of a new worship facility.

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