Saturday, February 1, 2014

The Real Deal

I am officially on the Secret Service watch list. 

Well, maybe not, but they have my name and may have made some notes in my “permanent record.”

This Christmas I received a gift in the form of a one hundred dollar bill. I went to the bank to deposit it along with some other checks. Since it was cold outside I decided to make the deposit through the ATM. I fed the checks in first and then fed in the cash. Out popped the hundred dollar bill. I inserted it again, out it popped. The ATM and I went through this routine about four times when I finally gave a heavy sigh and, with some muttering under my breath, decided to head into the branch to make the rest of my deposit.

I handed the bill to the teller and told her that the ATM was being persnickety about accepting this particular bill. That’s when things got interesting. She took out a pen and made a few marks across the bill. She said, “Hmmmm.” The hmmm made me wake up to the possibility that the ATM might not be the problem but that maybe it was the money itself. The teller took the bill to another teller. They both rubbed the bill between their fingers; they held it up to the light. They grabbed the manager who was walking past and she felt it, held it up to the light. There were 3 of them now around my hundred dollar bill and they all turned to look at me. At that moment I wondered if it would come in handy that my Sunday school teacher is a Federal Judge.

The manager came out through the door, my hundred dollar bill in hand. She told me, “Sorry, but this bill is counterfeit.” I was shocked and felt guilty even though I had no idea that I was trying to pass a counterfeit bill. She proceeded to show me how they recognized the fake by showing me a real bill beside it. She held both bills up to the light and said,” See how the water mark on the counterfeit bill is sort-of puffy?” And I said, “Nope.” She said, “See how there are tiny flakes of blue in the real bill?” And I said, “Nope.” She said, “Rub them between your fingers, do you feel the difference?” And I said, you guessed it, “Nope.”

I couldn’t see or feel the difference in the two bills because I hadn’t had the exposure to them like the bank manager had. 

Day in and day out for all the years she has been in banking, she has handled hundred dollar bills. She has looked at them, studied them and held them in her hands. With very little effort, she recognized the real deal versus the counterfeit.

And God taught me a lesson in the bank that day.  Actually two. The first isn’t very holy. Don’t accept big bills as a gift!

The real lesson He taught was about recognizing His voice and will. 

The only way to do it? Exposure. Time invested. 

We have to hold God’s Word in our hands, run our fingers over the wisdom and light of His words.  Just like that bank manager who could recognize the real hundred dollar bill because of the time she invested, if we devote ourselves to time spent in God’s Word we WILL recognize His voice, and equally important, we will recognize the counterfeit. When the enemy whispers his lies into our spirits, we can discard them quickly, knowing the true voice of our loving Lord.  

So, pick up God’s Word today. It’s the best investment you will ever make--and you can take that to the bank.

Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber.  But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” John 10:1-5 

~ Cyndi Word

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