From the Pastor’s Study
From the Pastor’s Study
An Important Deposit
May 19, 2022
Last week I was alerted by a family member that the Bank of Canada had received a sum of money from a bank account that I had not accessed in some time. Apparently, when the owner of an account does not access that account for a period of 5-7 years, the bank transfers the amount to the Bank of Canada. If the sum is over $10,000.00 the Bank of Canada will hold it for 100 years, and if it is less than $10,000.00, they will hold it for 30 years. I have a sum of money (not much) held by the Bank of Canada, and I simply need to fill out some paperwork, and I can obtain that money. (You can find out if you have money in a forgotten account if you search for “Bank of Canada Unclaimed Balances Registry” and follow the links.)
I suspect that at least one reader will dedicate a few minutes to discover how much money I had forgotten I have, and you will wonder how I could forget that I had those bank accounts (there are two). The answer is simple: I was using those bank accounts for savings, and in the course of life, I changed my banking habits, and I neglected to close those accounts. Eventually they faded from my memory. I will be filling in the proper forms, and I do hope to see that money again. I am not the only one who has forgotten that has forgotten money that I had once deposited for savings, for I am joined by 1000s of others across Canada, some of whom have forgotten a lot more money than I have.
I intended to use the deposits I made to that bank for my retirement. Even if I don’t get them back, I will be able to survive, for, by the time I retire, the money that is there won’t fill up my vehicle with gas more than a couple of times (fewer, if prices continue to rise). I expect that if the sum were much larger, I would likely be less to forget it. It would be foolish if that money were my entire savings for retirement, and I no longer remembered it. That would make my life a lot harder.
Yet, we see people all around us seemingly forgetting an even greater deposit that has more significance than even a large sum of money. In fact, even as Christians we may sometimes forget that deposit, or, at very least, we treat it as being far less significant than it actually is. In 2 Timothy 1:14 Paul urges Timothy, his student and mentee, to guard the good deposit that was entrusted to him. In the context, Paul has been talking about the gospel message, the saving news that comes through the faith and love we have in Jesus Christ. Paul has deposited into Timothy’s life the truth that Jesus died for his sins and that if he continues to put his faith in Jesus, he will receive the goal of salvation, eternal life with God. To understand the implications of this more fully, we do need to read back a few verses to hear all of what Paul has to say.
Paul has been suffering for the sake of Jesus Christ. We know from his other writings and from the book of Acts and from Christian tradition that Paul had a very difficult life once he began believing in Jesus Christ. The hardships and trials he endured were far greater than anything any of us will probably ever face, should the world continue as it is. Paul had become a follower of Jesus Christ when the good news of Jesus was deposited into his life. He came to believe, and he became assured that Jesus would look after his life. Thus, because he had been entrusted with the gospel, he entrusted Jesus with his life. Paul was convinced that no matter what happened, Jesus would never let him go. Paul eventually died in Rome, according to tradition, and he died a martyr’s death. He was convinced that he would know eternal life because of the presence of Jesus in his life. The gospel had been deposited into his life, and, consequently, he was able to deposit his life into the hands of Jesus.
Paul had deposited the same message into Timothy’s life with the prayer that Timothy would hold onto that deposit with the result that he (Timothy) would also be able to deposit his life with Jesus, being assured that Jesus would take care of him no matter what. The deposit of the gospel into our lives (which we accept through faith) will always lead us to be able to deposit our lives into the hands of Jesus. Paul goes on to say that the Holy Spirit will enable and equip Timothy to hold that deposit close to himself. The Holy Spirit would never let Timothy forget what he had been given.
It would be foolish if we would deposit money for our retirements into a bank and then forget it. That would make life very difficult, for we would have to work until the day we die. Most of us would never do that. I can assure you that if the sum of money I had forgotten was much larger, I would have taken greater care to keep track of it. It would be foolish to forget our retirement money, but it would be even more foolish to forget the gospel that has been deposited into our account. Money may make retirement a little easier, but without the gospel, life beyond retirement would be impossible. I wouldn’t want to go into eternity without the gospel of Jesus Christ. That would make eternity quite difficult, to put it mildly.
Nonetheless, so many people seem to put a much greater value on their money (or the things money can buy) than they do on the really important deposit, the knowledge of who Jesus is and what he did. It is sad to think that so many people (and sometimes we are included among them) place much more significance on a few dollars that make 20 years (hopefully) of retirement a little better even while they forget the truth that makes eternal life beautiful. The deposit that has been made into our lives, the gospel, assures us that we will spend eternity with Jesus. That same deposit assures us that we can put our lives into Jesus’ hands today because he will take care of us.
I suppose I could forget what Jesus did, and I probably would have long forgotten the message of salvation except for one thing: the Holy Spirit keeps reminding me. He reminds all of us. Now, of course, we do see people forgetting the important deposit, and we should be concerned about that. But let’s pray that the Holy Spirit will not let them forget for long but return them to Jesus Christ and faith in him. That deposit is far better than anything we can obtain through hard work and good investing. The deposit of the gospel forever changes our lives, our futures, our eternities. As we receive the deposit of the gospel, may hold on to that deposit with the help of the Holy Spirit.