International Ministries

Pennies for Heaven

January 14, 2011 Journal
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 “You were sold for nothing and without money you will be redeemed”        Isaiah 52:3

I found a Penny…
This all started weeks ago.  It was a clear cool day. I was walking toward the sanctuary when I saw a penny on the ground.  I kept going.  These days a penny alone isn’t worth a lot.  This one was dropped, forgotten and just as I was about to do, left behind as worthless.  People don’t spend a lot of time looking for a lost penny but a hundred of them make a dollar and on every one it says, “in God we trust”.  That day I stopped.  I didn’t know why but was quickened to turn around, retrace my steps, and pick up that penny.  I slid it into my pocket and continued on my way thinking, “I wonder what that’s about”.

that told a Story…
I was heading to a funeral.  The air in the sanctuary was filled with somber tones, hushed voices and furtive glances.  This wasn’t a joyous celebration of the long life and dedicated service of a believer.  This was one of those sad and difficult stories that ends up in God’s hands. She was 18.  She had ended her own life. At least that’s what the police report said.  She had lived with abuse and at some point she believed the lies of a pimp.  She believed him when he told her that he loved her and then sold her over and over again.  

about a washing…
The funeral service was beautiful.  Really.  In a warm and tender way the pastor invited hope into the room.   He shared that earlier in her life she had walked with Jesus.  She had asked the Lord of all to forgive her sin and she had known the joy of her king.  I don’t know what her last moments were like but I am convinced that God’s mercy and grace are infinitely more powerful than the devastation caused by abuse or the lies of a pimp.  She had been washed by the blood of the Lamb of God.  She was not forgotten or left behind or ever considered worthless by the King of Kings. Not ever.

and a calling.
Weeks later, I stepped through the door of my classroom to begin another semester.  I was beginning to teach the doctrine of salvation.  Our starting point was grace.  I was about to begin the teachings that tell us that in Heaven there are no forgotten pennies. Not ever.  I looked at the faces of my students, thought of that penny again and the quickening of my heart returned.  God was going to use these people to pick up pennies in our world…lost people.  People who believe they’ve been forgotten and left behind as worthless.  I was glad to be there.  Thank you for making it possible to equip people in Mexico to pick up pennies for heaven.  May God use you to do the same wherever you live.