Posts Tagged ‘Wealth’

Sep 30

Stockpile

By Andrew V. Ste. Marie

 

In the fall, many beehives can become rather defensive and harder for beekeepers to work with. Why would this be?

 

In the spring, the hive is mostly empty of food, and the bees are bringing in fresh nectar and pollen and are rearing brood at astounding rates. In the fall, an entire summer’s worth of work is stored up in the hive – potentially 100+ pounds of honey and stored pollen, the honey all having been painstakingly evaporated from nectar and covered with a thin wax seal.

 

All summer, tens of thousands of bees labored to gather and preserve what is now contained in the hive. To compare it to our own lives, think of the basement or pantry shelves, full of a summer’s worth of canning; or think of a barn full of hay and corn bins full of corn.

 

By fall, the bees have put an enormous investment into what is stored in the hive, and they are depending upon it to get through the winter. It is their reward for hard work in the past; it is their hope for a continued future.

 

Not only do bees have more goods stored up in the fall; enemies have also increased. Hungry creatures abound in the fall, eager to get a share of the bounty which the bees have stored and converted.  Hornets and wasps want to pick off members of the hive, or consume larvae.  Even bumblebees will wander into a hive to try to steal honey.

 

Bees have no eternal future; like ants, their future is here on earth. They have laid up treasure on earth, and once they have procured it, they must defend it.

 

Man has an eternal future. The less he has on earth, the less he has to worry about, to preserve, and to defend.  The more he sends before him, storing up treasure in heaven, the better his eternal future will be.

 

Let us learn from the bee. Like the ant, we can learn the values and rewards of hard work, diligence, and saving.  But we can also learn that earthly treasure brings earthly entanglement.  May our hard work, diligence, and saving be directed to the next world – to “an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away” (I Peter 1:4).

 

Originally published in The Witness September 2016.

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In:Endurance, Obedience, Separation & Nonconformity, The Kingdom of God

Comments Off on Rewards for a Life of Work

By Andrew V. Ste. Marie

 

“It’s really a shame – to work hard all your life, and have it all taken away in the end.”

 

A relative said this about another relative, who was spending a lot of money staying in a retirement home. As soon as he said that, Solomon’s words flashed into my mind.

Yea, I hated all my labour which I had taken under the sun: because I should leave it unto the man that shall be after me. And who knoweth whether he shall be a wise man or a fool?  yet shall he have rule over all my labour wherein I have laboured, and wherein I have shewed myself wise under the sun.  This is also vanity.  Therefore I went about to cause my heart to despair of all the labour which I took under the sun (Ecclesiastes 2:18-20).

Solomon’s words capture the pain of a realization, near the end of life, of the vanity of laying up treasure on earth. For those who have spent their lives in pursuit of material gain, riches, and pleasures, life’s sunset finds them realizing that it is all over now; the pleasures, the riches, the gain – all of it is over and will be left behind.  Life is now just a slow decline to the grave.  Was that worth it?

 

The heavenly-minded Christian, however, has a mindset and reality much different from that of the treasure-accumulating worldling, or that of Solomon. For us, our focus is not on chasing pleasure or treasure on earth.  Jesus said,

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also (Matthew 6:19-21).

At the end of a life of work and service, the Christian does not realize that everything is over and must be left behind; rather, he realizes that his reward is just about to begin! We have “an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you” (I Peter 1:4).  Our hard-earned inheritance cannot be taken away from us, “For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister” (Hebrews 6:10).

 

Originally published in The Witness September 2016.

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