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Pastor’s Corner-Rev. Mark Keefer, pastor, Garwin United Methodist Church Garwin, Iowa

March 28, 2014
Northern-Sun Print
As I was studying my daily devotional last week, I came upon an interesting story. It seems there was an elderly couple who lived in a dilapidated old farmhouse. They could barely afford the groceries and medicines that they needed. At times, there wasn’t enough money to even keep the heat on. A short time after their deaths, a huge deposit of oil was found on their homestead. All their years of poverty were lived out, sitting on top of untapped wealth. There were two thoughts that came to my mind after hearing that story, whether it was an accurate account or not. First, I know there are many people who are living in the same situation as were that couple. They are existing paycheck to paycheck, and they are not sitting on top of an oil reserve. They struggle with the constantly increasing cost of living, and they have to live very sparingly. For many in that situation, they have to budget very wisely. For those who are wise in their budgeting, they might tell you that, while income is sparse, they are doing okay. Which leads to the second reflection I had on that daily meditation. Many Christians go through life like that elderly couple. They live with the knowledge that God has saved them, and they will one day go to heaven. It is good that they have that confidence, but why should they have to muddle through this life in the meantime? Jesus promised an abundant life (John 10:10), but many Christians aren’t living it. When we get poor in The Spirit, we fail to tap into the abundance of God’s grace. As the author of the meditation put it, while ‘eternity begins the moment we are saved, there is no reason to wait until heaven to enjoy the Lord’s riches.’ God waits patiently to pour out His graces on believers. In the unbreakable union we have with our Father, we receive righteousness and freedom from legalism. All He asks in return is that we invest our time and energy in relationship with Him. Our connection with God makes it possible for us to live joyful, contented lives overflowing with blessing. We hear the story that the streets of heaven are paved with gold. That makes one think that the earthly wealth we consider important, like a large bank account or automobile, seems rather paltry in comparison. The Bible tells us in Romans 8:17, that we are heirs with Christ. If we are heirs, then as believers we have access to the fruits of God’s spirit. Those fruits include love, joy, and peace beyond understanding (Galatians 5:22). Invest in your spiritual life, and learn about these fruits of the spirit by regular Bible study and worship in church. See you there soon. Peace be with you.


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