“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 moth 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.”
Any faithful church has a legitimate concern for spreading the message of Jesus. It is the church’s mission, the very reason it lives and breathes, to tell the world about Christ at any cost. One of the costs happens to be money. In fact, this cost demonstrates what a wonderful gift money is for the church. Just think of it. This stuff we call money allows us to touch the lives of people in a profound and life-changing way. It’s hard not to be amazed on how money can be used to bring the love of Jesus to the farthest corners of the world to people whose faces we have never seen and whose names we will never know—except in heaven.
But God’s church is also concerned that the motivation behind the giving is pure, untouched by human pressure and joyless obligation. God wants no unwilling service, but he wants believers to give in joyful response to the undeserved love he has lavished so freely and outrageously on them. In fact, God doesn’t want us to give back a nickel until we want to because of what we have heard, until the love of Christ compels us inwardly. God doesn’t want our money. He wants us.
Does he have us? Any faithful church will have a legitimate concern for the worldly attachments people feel toward their money. “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also,” warned Jesus. We know that materialism is not defined by the fact that we simply have lots of stuff. It is God who has blessed us with that stuff. No, materialism is trying to meet spiritual needs by accumulating material things. Material needs for clothing, food, and housing are appropriately met by material things. But the need to know I am someone, that I am loved, that everything is well with my soul today and will be tomorrow, these are needs that material things cannot provide for, things it can never provide for. These are spiritual things that only a loving God can and does provide.
In the penetrating words of Jesus, “Life does not consist in the abundance of your possessions.” Mere things can never fill the place that God holds in our hearts. And so God’s church, if it is to be faithful, must keep confronting the sin of idolatry and keep calling the love of money exactly what it –the “root of all evil”—to compel our repentance and to clear the center of our stage for the one who is alone worthy to be our Lord.
In our lives and in our hearts, let us honor the treasure that is Jesus Christ. Remember what he has given us and why. Remember where your real treasure is.
Living each day with you honoring our true treasure,