“Do not accumulate for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and devouring insect destroy and where thieves break in and steal. But accumulate for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and devouring insect do not destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” —Matthew 6:19–21
Hmmm … maybe I need to clean out some closets, purge the attic, or rid myself of some stuff!
Jesus expands on this “stuff” principle in a wonderful parable in Luke:
“The land of a certain rich man produced an abundant crop, so he thought to himself, ‘What should I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ Then he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to myself, “You have plenty of goods stored up for many years; relax, eat, drink, celebrate!”’ But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded back from you, but who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ So it is with the one who stores up riches for himself, but is not rich toward God.” —Luke 12:16–21
Life is vastly more important than the accumulation of material things. We are all created for a far greater purpose than self-indulgence, greed, wealth, and the desire to be satisfied by the created rather than the Creator.
The words Jesus uses in Matthew as “store up” come from the Greek wordthesaurizo meaning to gather and to reserve. Our Lord warns us against storing up that which is temporal. We must not place our hearts upon what our eyes can see and our hands can grasp. Everything here on earth will eventually rot or rust and in the end prove not flame retardant! Jesus tells us we are to store up for ourselves that which will make it through the fire when our works and deeds are tested
Paul tells us: “According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master-builder I laid a foundation, but someone else builds on it. And each one must be careful how he builds. For no one can lay any foundation other than what is being laid, which is Jesus Christ. If anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, or straw, each builder’s work will be plainly seen, for the Day will make it clear, because it will be revealed by fire. And the fire will test what kind of work each has done. If what someone has built survives, he will receive a reward. If someone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss. He himself will be saved, but only as through fire.” —1 Corinthians 3:10–15
Do our treasures lie in the wealth of the world or the eternal treasures above? The heart will follow its treasure. Love and affection, value and esteem, are all placed on what one treasures. We are to watch the way we live our lives; it will show us what we highly esteem. How do we spend and invest our time? How do we spend and invest our resources? This is definitely not just about money; it is about all the gifts we have been given. We are stewards of everything that God has blessed us with!
“You must remember the LORD your God, for he is the one who gives ability to get wealth; if you do this he will confirm his covenant that he made by oath to your ancestors, even as he has to this day.” —Deuteronomy 8:18
“Being generous with your money is a personal quality of someone that the grace of God has gripped. Why? Because the essence of the Gospel of grace is generosity. Jesus Christ gave up the Greatest Treasure in the world. He gave away his treasure when he left the most affluent gated community in the universe, heaven and all its glory, became poor, so that we might become rich. He gave up Ultimate wealth—Himself, for you. ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’, he said and lived. He also said you cannot serve God and money, it’s impossible. You have to choose. Only by the power of the Gospel of grace can you begin to be generous”. —Tom Wood
“The one who loves money will never be satisfied with money, he who loves wealth will never be satisfied with his income. This also is futile.” —Ecclesiastes 5:10