Secundus was finished with recounting the conversation with the two men, and turned to Andrew and said, “But since then, Andrew, I’ve thought a lot about that conversation. I am starting to see what those two older friends were saying about investing in a world that’s coming, not spending on a world that’s going. As a matter of fact, the three of us have become friends now.
“The Holy Spirit has been opening my eyes to see how freeing it is to break the grip of my old Master, money – and to live with a more generous heart. I tithe, yes, I do. Can you believe that? I actually put aside a tenth of each drachma I earn, right away; and I know you won’t believe this, but I put aside a tenth of the gross, not just what I think will be left over after I pay Rome their part.”
Secundus was animated now, saying, “That sounds crazy, doesn’t it, Andrew? But I’m telling you God is true to his promises, and I am living ‘the life that is truly life’ – here, now. I’m not waiting for Heaven when I die; I’m living Heaven here and now. Because I am now a cheerful giver. I’m no longer irritated or embarrassed when asked to give. I love to give – because I broke the grip of my old Master, money.”
Secundus put his arms on Andrew’s shoulders and said, “I love to give! And I cannot tell you how freeing, and, yes, how fun this is. But I don’t just love to give; I love to invest. I look for ways to put this money onto the front lines of God’s Kingdom. I don’t just blindly give to whatever cause comes along, but I seek out the areas with the most impact for the Kingdom.”
Secundus continued, “My older friends and I were thinking the other day about Jesus promising we will be welcomed into Heaven by those whose lives have been affected by our giving. That’s surprising to think about, isn’t it? To think we’ll have people from all over the world coming up to us in Heaven and saying things like, ‘We never met back there, on earth, but here, now, I know who you are. The time you gave money to that Kingdom cause, it made a Kingdom impact in my family’s life, and turned our lives around.
‘Thank you for giving. God used your investment to change my destiny.’”
Andrew smiled and said, “I trust Jesus and I take him at his word. So I believe it will be just as you’re describing, Secundus.”
Secundus then concluded with, “Andrew, I don’t have the words to respond to something like that: a welcoming party in Heaven. And for doing what? Giving the money back to the Father that he allowed me to earn in the first place? What a gracious Heavenly Father we have. And to think I used to think of it as my money, and I used to give God the leftovers. What a waste.”
Andrew was quiet for a moment, and then said, “Secundus, you were with me when my big brother was telling our morning gathering about Jesus’ words, ‘The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!’”
Secundus smiled and said, “Yes, I was. And I want to talk more about that. But first, what was it like to grow up with the great Peter as your big brother? I mean he is great, but he’s also a little intimidating. And when he gets going he really gets going, doesn’t he?”