An elderly couple were giving a friend from church a ride home when the car hit an oil slick and caused the car to spin out of control and flew off the side of the mountain road they were traveling on. The car plunged through the air, nearly half a mile down the side of the mountain, and crashed in the rocks. All three died. Fortunately, all 3 passengers had received Christ as their savior and now found themselves at the gates of Heaven.
Interestingly, all three people had also held the belief that they could take one thing with them into Heaven, and each one of them had diligently made preparations for their death. Now they stood before the angel who was at the Pearly Gates. One at a time, each one presented what they had brought with them to see if their cherished item would be allowed...
The old man bravely stepped up first. He presented a suit case which was packed full of pure gold coins. The angel smiled at the him and then leaned to the side to let the old man see that as pure as his gold was, it was no more valuable than the streets that they walk on. At first, the old man was disappointed. But then he realized, that the rest of Heaven was worth so much more than what he so highly prized on Earth. As he dropped his suit case, the old man also realized what a burden it would have been to be carrying around a suitcase full of pavement. As he looked up again, he saw just to the right, what looked like a billboard with scripture on it that said:
"I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see... "
Then the old man looked at the angel who was now smiling with re-assurance and welcome. The old man stepped through the gates and was instantly transformed into a young handsome man filled with Peace and at the same time excitement for all that eternity has in store for him.
Then the old woman hesitantly stepped forward and pulled out an old family heirloom that had been in their family linage for over 200 years. She had gone through great lengths to keep it safe and in good condition along with old photos of which you could still see the image of her great, great, great grandfather and family. It was a great source of identity for her and since the old couple had no children, she had no-one to pass it on to. The angel also looked at her with a loving smile and took another step to the side so she could also look through the opening in the gates. She was amazed to see her greatest grandfather as well as others in her family lineage waiting to welcome her. The old woman immediately realized that her heirloom was now worthless compared to spending eternity with her family that is ALIVE. She also noticed another billboard with scripture that said:
"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it. "
She then looked at the angel whom she now could not stop staring into his eyes as he also welcomed her and motioned for her to enter. As she did, she was also instantly changed into a beautiful young woman filled with a regal grace that transcended that of any earthly queen as it was tempered with compassion and humility.
Then the friend from church stepped up. The angel looked on as the man pulled a small pouch out of his pocket and poured into his left hand, a small amount of dirt. Then the angel replied: "I'm sorry, dirt is not allowed in Heaven." The man answered: "We were poor and I was a gardener. But God had blessed my hands in planting and tending a garden that would miraculously bear an abundant amount of fruits and vegetables. This dirt was what kept alive both my family and our neighbors that were less fortunate than us. I was hoping that God would take this dirt and give it to another man like me, so he can also feed his family."
A tear ran down the cheek of the angel as he seemed to stare through the gardener into his heart. Then the man's eyes grew wide: "You're not an angel !"
... Then the Lord spoke to the man: "You have brought to me, the rich soil of your heart which is, indeed, good ground. You have done more than feed your family and others with food for their bodies. You have fed them with My Love and My Life ( Matthew 25:31-40
), and their fruit will be great, which you will see as you sit with me on my throne."
The reason why God put so much about finances in the Bible is because money is the means with which we measure value...on Earth. But even though man tries to do so, Life cannot be measured with money. But when used properly, it trains us in how to properly value our life and the lives of others.
"For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."