FOCUS 40 Devotional 8

I Could Have Traded Five Dollars for a Hundred Dollars! Day 8

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear.” —1 John 4:18

When I was a child, Dad was president of Wesley College. When I was eight years old, Dad made me a member of the worship team and paid me ten cents each time I sang in a service. I kept my dimes in little bank the size of a dime coin roll. I had saved almost five dollars. I counted and stacked them in dollar -size piles and put them back in the bank. One day, a lady where we were having dinner held out her tightly closed hand and said, “I’ll trade what I have in my hand for your bank and dimes!” I was curious to know what was in her hand, but I knew what was in my bank and how long it took me to accumulate my treasure; fifty dimes represented fifty songs! After much inner struggle, I decided to keep my dime bank and five dollars. When the lady opened her hand, I saw a hundred dollar bill! I was so disappointed that I cried.

Many people are like that, holding on to their puny little desires and toys, a few little joys, some happiness, a few fleeting thrills, along with a lot of fears, frustrations, heartaches, and anxieties. Then Jesus Christ, the Liberator comes along and offers to trade them eternal life—a life of inner peace and freedom, purpose and meaning, fulfillment and joy. Yet, they cling to their little empty or partially full lives because they are afraid to trust him, afraid to lose that which will not last or satisfy for what is eternal and will satisfy immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine (Eph 3:20). I didn’t know if I could trust that lady, and I didn’t know what she was offering in exchange for my bank, but as you spend with our Lord, listening to his thoughts, delighting yourself in him, getting the desires of his heart, making them the desires of your heart, you learn to trust him because his offer of salvation and abundant life is clear. “There is no fear in love. Perfect love drives out fear” (1 John 4:18).

Jesus Christ has proven himself across ages of time to be absolutely trustworthy. Millions of changed lives attest to his ability to save and satisfy people, who, in simple faith, trust him and ask him to come into their lives and take control. God the Father made an offer to trade gis gift of eternal life for our time on earth. He sent his Son Jesus to complete the plan and make the offer. We choose to reject or accept it. To accept God’s offer gives new life, opportunities and relationships more valuable than anything we can dream or give up. Jesus asked, “What can a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Mark 8:37). He said, I am leaving you with a gift—peace of heart and mind—worth more than gold, silver, or anything else. What an offer! It’s like trading five dollars and a fifty cent bank for a hundred dollars—only the results of this trade are much more important, with eternal consequences and higher stakes! Choose to follow and serve Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord and enjoy eternal life with him.

I was speaker at a men’s retreat where we gathered around a bonfire. Several gave testimonies of God’s work in their lives. One young man said, with deep emotion and tears, “I declare an end to dysfunctionality in my family tree for generations! I am going to be a godly husband and father!” That night he made a better trade than giving up five dollars for a hundred dollar bill; and his wife and children got a new husband and father. Years later, he is still soaring high with the Lord, and is a Christ-follower and leader in the church. That’s a God kind of trade! Transforming Hearts…Transforming Lives!

Thanks, Lord, for your offer to trade your eternal life for my brief life, your full life for my empty life, your presence for my loneliness. Help me to always live in intimate relationship with you, and to offer your gift to everyone I meet. I love and trust you! Amen.

 Dr. Sam Bruce; President, Sam & Sandie Bruce Ministries; Pastor, Hope Point Church, Pearl, Mississippi; Online Instructor, Mid-America Christian University, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Copyright © 2011 by Church of God Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved. This document may be downloaded, reprinted, or distributed free of charge for ministry and educational purposes provided that the copyright notice on this page appears without modification. The contents of the booklet may not be modified or abridged in any way, and this electronic version of the booklet MAY NOT BE RESOLD in any print or electronic format.

All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, by Biblica, Inc. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked MSG are taken from The Message by Eugene H. Peterson, copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked NRSV are taken from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked Phillips are taken from The New Testament in Modern English by J. B. Phillips, 1962 edition, published by Harper Collins.

2 comments

  1. Bro Tom,
    Thanks for your devotion today it helps me to refocus. As I pray for those God has put on my heart to pray for in this fast. I am reminded by your story in the first paragraph that people are not so easily persuaded and that we must be the example, the bridge that brings them to the Lord.

    Thank You for your devotion once again it came in a timely fashion as God always does! His timing is perfect!

    Blessings and Peace,
    Teri Henderson

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