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Financial Safety

In the Gospel lesson appointed for Sunday (Luke 12:32-40), we hear Jesus calling his followers to make sound financial investments.

Have you ever purchased one of those money belts that you wear inside your clothing?

In Sunday's lesson, Jesus advises us, his followers, to create for ourselves a special kind of pouch, or depository, for our money that is tougher - longer lasting, less likely to wear out - than Kevlar.

There's a safe, or safety deposit box in which we can put our money that not only has never been broken into, but no would-be burglar has even come near - it's far more secure than Fort Knox.

Now here's what's interesting: Usually, putting our money in a safe (low risk) investment means getting very little back in return. That's because, as we all know from Economics 101, there's usually a correlation, or trade-off, between making low risk/low return investments, and high risk/high return investments.

But putting our money in the pouch or place that Jesus advises - investing our money in this movement - is not only safe, it can give you a return on your investment as high as 30 fold, 60 fold, and even 100 fold.

Does that sound too good to be true? Is there a catch?

It's not too good to be true, and there is no catch. Because the purse, or place, where no thief has ever come near, is the Kingdom. That's a movement or cause where we can put our money secure in the knowledge our investment will be returned many times over: "Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full--pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back."

But there's a reason we don't make that kind of sound financial investment, and instead keep clutching to our money, or putting it in less secure places where it can be lost or stolen.

And the reason is fear.

That's why Jesus starts out this remarkable teaching by telling us, "Do not be afraid."

God knows that our possessions - our worries about wealth - get in the way of receiving what God stands ready to give us.

Overcoming our fears means God is free to do what God wants to do - and it is God's "good pleasure" to give us the Kingdom, and all the joy that comes with it.

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