20 disney dollarsIn Ecclesiastes 5:13, Solomon says that he witnessed a “grievous evil.” He says, “I have seen under the sun: riches were kept by their owner to his hurt, and those riches were lost in a bad venture.” He then adds in the following verses, “As he came from his mother’s womb he shall go again, naked as he came, and shall take nothing for his toil that he may carry away in his hand.” This is a truth that’s so simple and yet so profound that it’s repeated in the scriptures several times. When Job lost everything he had, he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD” (Job 1:21). The Apostle Paul took the same truth and applied it to all of us: “We brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world” (1 Timothy 6:7).

You can’t take it with you! Of course you have all heard this and know it and believe, etc. But why do we spend so much more time accumulating things instead of investing in the things that will last? It’s hard! The world is constantly bombarding us with new things that we need and we are nearly helpless to resist. I’m putting together some things from my garage and attic for a garage sale. Wow, I have a lot of stuff! James Boice’s comments on this subject really struck home for me this week. He writes, “The Word of God says, you can lay it up now. But when you die, it will be gone forever; on the other hand, if you live for God now, you will have treasure forever. It is literally true that you cannot take it with you into heaven. But if you are obedient to God and try to serve him wholeheartedly now, spiritual treasures will be waiting for you in heaven when you get there. These treasures are the eternal well-being of the soul, eternal felicity, basking in and enjoying the favor of God forever. Compared with those spiritual treasures the things for which we sell our souls here are worse than trifles. They are nothing. They are literally the refuse of this disintegrating world. Learn to lay up treasures in heaven, as Paul did.”

Even if you could take it with you it wouldn’t be worth anything. I can remember my first trip to Disneyland in 1959. We had to buy tickets for every ride and even to redeem for soft drinks, cotton candy, and whatever else you wanted. Someone told me they were called “Disney Dollars.” We took a handful of them home with us back to Nebraska. They are worthless in Nebraska. You can’t buy bubble gum, you can’t buy bread, you can’t pay utility bills, and you can’t buy anything at all! It’s only good at Disneyland. I was thinking how much our own money is like Disney Dollars. Once we leave this place the same medium of exchange, the legal tender, won’t be worth a thing. It’s only the investments we make in the lives of others and in our own spiritual growth and connection with God that will go on into eternity. This is really a bigger Disneyland. It’s temporary and sooner or later we all will have to go home.