Where Your Treasure Is, There Your Heart Will be Also
I just finished (again) reading the Gospel of Matthew. I have read this book a lot of times and its the only book in the Bible that I finished with the most number of times. Nothing beats learning from the life of Jesus!
Even though I have read Matthew a lot of times, I have never experienced such richness of its message before. The Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) is one of my favorites. It hit me like never before. But one teaching of Jesus made a profound impact on me. Matthew 6:19-21 says:
19“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
I have to ask myself if I’ve been investing treasures in heaven. To answer this question, I just need to check how I handle my money. And I realize that I spend more for myself than for God’s purposes and for others. I’ve been materialistic and selfish.
This truth simply hurts. It gripped me. It convicted me. Because it only reveals that I haven’t been giving much. I faithfully tithe what is due to God, but I also believe that I can give more that what I am just required of.
It’s time that I overcome materialism and selfishness and replace it with ridiculous and sacrificial generosity. It won’t be easy, but I’m committing to give more.
To do this, it will be helpful that I remind myself of the following (and I hope it helps you as well if you’re into the same struggle):
1. Give Sacrificially. I will place a great emphasis on this. Sacrifice is a recurring theme in the Bible. Let me show you a few examples. In John 3:16, God gave His one and only Son, Jesus. Sacrifice! In 2 Chronicles 21:24, David insisted to buy the threshing floor where he will build the altar, for he will not sacrifice a burnt offering that costs him nothing. Again, sacrifice! In Mark 12:41-44, a poor widow “out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.” And again, sacrifice! In 2 Corinthians 8:1-4, the Macedonian churches, in their extreme poverty, “gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability.” Once again, sacrifice!
Love is the very essence of sacrifice.
2. Give Cheerfully. In 2 Corinthians 9:7, it is written that “Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” Whenever we give cheerfully, God is glorified and we are satisfied.
3. Give Intelligently. While we are to give generously, I also believe that God wants us to invest our money wisely, not irrationally. Asking ourselves the following questions may help: Where is it best to invest our money? It is best to donate to a charity? Or support a missionary? Or sponsor a teenager to a weekend retreat? Or fund a ministry? Or contribute to a building or other various church projects?
Will our investment yield immediate results, which is necessary at the moment? Or will it produce long-term results? (In anyway these questions are answered, it will still reap eternal results).
So join me as I commit to give more this year. Let us live a life of sacrificial, cheerful, and intelligent giving!