Saturday, May 31, 2014

In God We Trust

Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless.

-- Ecclesiastes 5:10

Here's one for history buffs and Trivial Pursuit champions: 

What's the official motto of the United States?

Stumped? You can find the answer in your wallet, your car's ashtray or even between your sofa cushions. For the last 150 years, American coins--and later paper money--have featured the inscription "In God We Trust." In God We TrustThe official website of the US Treasury says that in 1861, a Pennsylvania minister recommended to Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase that American coins should "recognize Almighty God in some form." Chase agreed and instructed the director of the Philadelphia Mint to prepare an appropriate motto.

"No nation can be strong except in the strength of God, or safe except in His defense," wrote Chase. "The trust of our people in God should be declared on our national coins."

In 1864, "In God We Trust" made its first appearance on the two-cent coin. How ironic that "Godless" money should feature such an important reminder about the real source of our security. But if we're really honest with ourselves, shouldn't the motto read: In GOLD We Trust? After all, when things get tough in life, it's only natural to rely on our money, riches and possessions rather than the One who makes it possible to earn a living. However, reliance on job security and the stock market is never wise, particularly these days.

It's an unsettling fact: Our bank accounts are no defense against life's hard realities. Illnesses strike, relationships fail and that which seems solid turns to dust in our hands. What we desperately need is something--or Someone--who's dependable. Who never changes. Who we can trust.

Jesus paints a vivid picture of this universal quest through His story about the foolish man who built a house on shifting sands. When the storm struck, the rains came and the winds blew with fury. It's no surprise that the flimsy structure collapsed with a crash. But the wise man, in comparison, built his house on a foundation of solid rock. So when the storm clouds of life boiled and the winds howled, that house withstood even the heaviest downpour.

This leads us to the obvious question: Are you counting on your money and possessions to save you when "life happens"? If so, why not rely on God instead: the One who made you, loves you and knows what you really need. You can take it to the bank!

"Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust," we read in Psalms, "who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods." 

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