“Where’s my coin of the realm?” he asked, patting his empty pocket and scanning the dresser top. “Aha!” He palmed the silver plastic token that his friend Bill had given him. Squinting at the inscription, because he hadn’t found his glasses either, he barely made out the words of John 3:16. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him will have eternal life.”

In the world’s economy, that plastic coin is a mere trinket, cute but worthless. In God’s economy, it can purchase an eternity for someone who believes the inscription.

Have you noticed how God turns things upside down, backward and forward? In God’s economy, to be rich is to be poor; enemies should be loved and not vanquished; to die to life is to live. We Christians have a radically different view of reality from the rest of the world. Here in God’s marketplace, the cost of eternal ecstasy in God’s presence is the death of his Son, the price of the spotless Lamb of God.

As we buy and sell, invest, and save in this world, we also barter in God’s. But his coin of the realm is far different than dollars and cents. It is helping in a food pantry; making quilts for those in need; contributing to the missions; joining a music ministry and yes, even tithing. Time, talent, and treasure make up God’s coin of the realm.

It’s not that we need to buy his favor or make a down payment on heavenly real estate. No, our time, talent, and treasure are the ways God works his economy so the poor are fed, homeless are warm, souls are lifted up, and the Church can share the hope of Jesus with a world in need of hope.

What do you hope to achieve in God’s S&P and Fortune Five Hundred?