By Randy Alcorn, May 11, 2016 blog at: http://www.epm.org
Christ’s words were direct and profound: “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21). By telling us that our hearts follow our treasure, Jesus is saying, “Show me your checkbook, your VISA statement, and your receipts, and I’ll show you where your heart is.”
Suppose you buy shares of General Motors. What happens? You suddenly develop interest in GM. You check the financial pages. You see a magazine article about GM and read every word, even though a month ago you would have passed right over it.
Suppose you’re giving to help African children with AIDS. When you see an article on the subject, you’re hooked. If you’re sending money to plant churches in India and an earthquake hits India, you watch the news and fervently pray.
I’ve heard people say, “I want more of a heart for missions.” I always respond, “Jesus tells you exactly how to get it. Put your money in missions— and in your church and the poor— and your heart will follow.”
Do you wish you cared more about eternal things? Then reallocate some of your money, maybe most of your money, from temporal things to eternal things. Put your resources, your assets, your money and possessions, your time and talents and energies into the things of God. Watch what happens. As surely as the compass needle follows north, your heart will follow your treasure. Money leads; hearts follow.
God wants your heart. He isn’t looking just for “donors” for His kingdom, those who stand outside the cause and dispassionately consider acts of philanthropy. He’s looking for disciples immersed in the causes they give to. He wants people so filled with a vision for eternity that they wouldn’t dream of not investing their money, time, and prayers where they will matter most.
Of course, giving isn’t the only good thing we can do with money. We need to feed, clothe, house, and transport our families. But when the basics are taken care of, why shouldn’t the rest go toward treasures in heaven?
Moses left Egypt’s treasures “because he was looking ahead to his reward” (Hebrews 11:26).
He who lays up treasures on earth spends his life backing away from his treasures. To him, death is loss.
He who lays up treasures in heaven looks forward to eternity; he’s moving daily toward his treasures. To him, death is gain.
He who spends his life moving away from his treasures has reason to despair. He who spends his life moving toward his treasures has reason to rejoice.
Are you despairing or rejoicing?
Giving is true having.
He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.
Don’t let your happiness depend on something you may lose.
–C. S. Lewis
I would not give one moment of heaven for all the joy and riches of the world.
Matthew 6:19-21 — (Jesus said), “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven,where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Hebrews 11:24-27 — By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible.
I Timothy 6:17-19 — Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.
Colossians 3:2 — Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
1 John 2:17 — The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.
O merciful Creator, your hand is open wide to satisfy the needs of every living creature. All that we possess is from your hand. Make us always thankful for your loving providence. Give us grace that we may honor you with all we own, always remembering the account we must one day give to Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
—Lutheran Book of Worship, 1978, (from prayers #157 and #183)