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What’s your value on salvation?

Built on a rock
Lead Summary
Dick Lauger, pastor, First Baptist Church, Luverne

Each week our financial secretary files a report on Sunday’s offering.
One part is a deposit slip: check, cash, coin. As might be expected, the check amount is the largest, followed by the cash and then coin. I am intrigued by that last amount, “coin.” Usually it amounts to a few dollars, like $4.79.
Who puts coins into the offering plate? I suppose the coins mostly come from kids. Dad and Mom are teaching them to be generous givers.
Maybe the child is a preschooler, and Mom simply reaches into her handbag and takes out a coin or two for a little hand to cautiously drop into the plate. (I picture a wide-eyed little boy thinking of the vast wealth passing in front of him.)
Maybe the child is a bit older with an allowance or a paper route or a lawn to mow. Watching his parents put a check into the plate and knowing something of their faith, he too wants to “tithe” of his small income.
So that $4.79 may actually be the largest part of the offering. The hand of a five-year-old, connected to a heart that loves Jesus, can affect thousands of others simply by being generous. The young heart has experienced firsthand the generosity of God in sending his Son, so the hand follows in loving imitation. The imitation may initially be of Dad and Mom, but to be true it transfers to “our Father who art in heaven.”
This “training up a child” to be generous is a distinctly Christian impulse. We give because our Lord has given to us far beyond all expectations, not only forgiveness of sins but also an eternal home in heaven. Not surprisingly, our Dad and Mom giving is seen by little eyes. They see very clearly that cars and vacations and big screen TVs and even little eyes do not have first place in the eyes of Dad and Mom. First place is reserved for Someone Else. Gradually a little heart and mind is drawn to see beyond Dad and Mom, making a similar choice for all eternity.
Perhaps we should view other aspects of life as we do the $4.79.
Generosity is not just financial. We have been given words to speak and time to use and attention to share and abilities to put in service and a heart to utter intercessory prayers. It would seem that the more generous we are, the more generous our Lord appears to others. Oh, we can overdo it, of course, leaving children hungry, threadbare, and starved for attention. But in our modern frenzy such a scenario seldom happens.
Ironically, children seem to know when our heaven-oriented generosity is an act, limited deeply by other interests. By intimate, daily connection with us, they know the value we place on salvation. While our Lord often calls little ones to himself without our help, we are all the poorer for this secondary route. All said and done, $4.79 is a great investment in eternity.

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