Thoughts on a Penny

What we call a penny here in America is actually incorrect, it is legally a 1-cent coin (in Britain they use the penny which 1/240th of their Pound). We Americans do so enjoy using our slang for everything. In so doing we tend to loose track of the real meanings, those things that we can be taught if we are willing to learn. Learning is not always fun or exciting but is generally worth our time.
Yesterday I learned that a penny is enough to stop a $16 flashlight from working. The 1-cent coin got stuck twice  over the lens of my brand new light. The first time by chance and second intentionally by me, which was a mistake. Where I had thought to use it to make a great visual illustration God meant it to teach me a lesson and to better expound on my blog post. Included with this post is a photo of some of the end result. I managed to misplace yesterday’s copper coin with it’s scratches and what not but the damage I had to inflict on my new flashlight is obvious. The lesson was this, what we deem important may be blocking God’s purpose for us.
Jesus gave a parable in Matthew chapter 20 of people who had been hired to work in the field at a rate of a penny a day. Parables are earthly stories that are used to explain heavenly truths. Here the penny represented salvation. No matter what time the person was “hired” the bargain was the same one penny. The part where the individual agreed to go out into the field is a type of accepting Jesus’ invitation to be saved. The actual work being done was not to receive salvation but it does show the persons faith in God being put to work. When we buried my grandmother a couple of years back I preached her funeral from this passage and threw a penny into the ground before her because she had just been saved a few months prior. It was symbolic but salvation is very much real.
Later on in Matthew 22 when the religious crowd was trying to get Jesus in trouble with the Roman government they asked Him if it was lawful to give tribute to Caesar or not. After showing Jesus a “penny” He asked who was on the coin, they replied Caesar and he said to render unto Caesar the things that belong  to him and render unto God what belongs to God. The “penny” looks at our motives and obligations, are we doing everything correctly, grudgingly, half-heartedly, godly, or what? God knows what belongs to Him, if we deny Him He’s due we are stealing from Him and the same can be said about taxes, time on the time clock time with family etc.
Finances can be a devilish thing. Bills come due, unexpected car repairs happen, medical bills, miscellaneous expenses, and even money needed to print a book can all come about. For as long as I can remember I have always tried to keep an eye out for coins on the ground. A penny saved is a penny earned and one can save their pennies pretty quick when they pick up what others have dropped. Quite a bit of the money I have used so far in paying to get my first book published has come from loose change. It may not build up very fast but it has slowly come in. I was reminded of this fact yesterday about the same time I was trying to get the coin out of my flashlight; I saw a shiny new penny laying on the ground. The oenny came with a message from God it said In God We Trust. Personally I like to think that when the coin faces down that that is a reminder that God is looking down on us and when it faces up that we need to look to Him. Either way that 1-cent coin reminded me that God will supply my every need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus  (Philippians 4:19). What I must do is to trust Him, get focused on Him, walk with Him, and do as He wants me to not as my selfish flesh wants to do. A penny for your thoughts.

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