Truth and a Two Dollar Bill

      A man went into a fast food restaurant to get some coffee. He had a fifty dollar bill and a two dollar bill. He did not want to break the fifty for such a small order, so when it was time to pay, he handed the youth behind the cash register the two dollar bill.
     The young lad took the bill and stared at it; he had never seen one before and he thought it was a fake.
     “I can’t take this,” he said and he started to hand the money back to the man.
     “Why? It’s a perfectly good two dollar bill. All I have is a fifty.”
     It was late and most of the money had been locked in the safe.
     “I can’t change a fifty.”
     “Then take the two dollar bill, it’s all I’ve got.”
     “I can’t take that.”
     “Go get your manager.”
     The youth took the two dollar bill and showed it to his manager who wasn’t much older than the cashier.
     “We can’t take this,” the manager said as he scrutinized the suspicious currency.
     “He says all he’s got is a fifty.”
     “I’m not going to open the safe with him in the store. Tell him to leave.”
     The cashier returned to his register and told the man he had to leave the store. The man refused.
     “Then we’ll have to call mall security.”
     “Call them.”
     In a few minutes a security officer arrived who was about the same middle-age as the customer.
     The cashier handed the two dollar bill to the security officer.“He’s trying to pay with this,” the young man said.
     The security officer took the bill and held it up to the light. Then he said, “It looks like a perfectly good two dollar bill to me.”
     Then both he and the customer looked at the youth as if to say, “What’s the matter with you?”
     The man did not have to pay for his coffee and they threw in a free order of fries.
     This true story exquisitely illustrates what can happen when a believer is presented a Biblical truth he has never seen before and rejects it because his own knowledge of the word is lacking, or his only Bible knowledge comes from other’s opinions of the word and not the word itself. For example, the word of God clearly teaches that God corrects; – He chastens whom He loves – Revelation 3:19, Hebrews 12: 5,6. The goats He will punish – Zechariah 10:3, Matthew 25:46 – and we will reap what we sow in this life – Galatians 6:7.
     I showed scriptures exemplifying this truth to a friend who was steeped in prosperity theology, followed teachers who had developed their own adaptation of what the word actually taught, and read very little of the word for herself. She looked at the scriptures I was showing her and said, “Oh, no, that’s not true.”
     Like that cashier who could not recognize a legitimate currency, my friend also could not recognize the truth of God’s word because she had not studied it for herself and had allowed herself to become preprogrammed by man’s theology instead.
     Can you recognize the truth of God’s word when it is presented to you? Do you know enough of God’s word to be able to discern what is true or false? Is your heart and your mind being conformed by God’s word or someone’s opinion of it? How much time do you spend studying the scriptures compared to the hours you invest in watching television and playing video games, etc.?
     If you are serious about your relationship with God, you might want to schedule some more time with Him in prayer and study. You know, He spends every second of every day focused on you. He wants you to be able to recognize His truth and not be deceived by counterfeits; and He rewards those who seek Him and are faithful.
     Seek out of the book of the Lord and read, no one of these shall fail – Isaiah 34:16.
     In Jesus’ parable of the ten virgins (Matthew 25: 1-13) the ones who had an ample supply of oil in their lamps were ready and were quickly accepted by their Lord when He called for them. Oil in the scriptures is sometimes used in reference to the Holy Spirit and the Spirit is also referred to as the Spirit of truth (John 14:17). The others had not enough oil with them and their lamps were going out. They had let the truth dwindle and perhaps their complacency allowed other doctrines to supplant the Biblical truth that Jesus is the only way to God the Father – John 14:6. Thus Jesus declared to them, “Depart from Me, I never knew you.”
     Truth, like that two dollar bill is legitimate spiritual currency that has purchased our entrance into eternity –John 3:16. Let’s make sure we can recognize it when it is presented to us, and our lamps are filled to the brim and glowing.

Copyright 2011 by H.D. Shively

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