Store Up Treasures For Yourselves
Most of us do not immediately think of our Lord in this respect, but in addition to all else He has done for us, He wants us to give heed to His words as our Investment Counselor. He relates the following to us in Matthew 6:19-20. “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.” Our Lord does not tell us to do this because His church needs the money for His enterprises! He already owns the cattle on a thousand hills and the wealth in every mine! He, like any wise parent, wants to train His children. Early in the lives of our children, we acquaint them with the need for saving resources, and then using them to prepare for their future. Our Lord wants not only to prepare us for the future, but wants us to join Him in preparing our future with Him.
Most investment counselors discuss the product they are selling in terms of two factors. These are risk and reward. What is the risk of an investment? Is it secure? What reward may be expected? The risk in New Testament times was that of destruction by moth and rust as well as being subject to thievery. Today the risk in many countries is an economic recession, market collapse, or destabilization of currency. A great many factors beyond our control determine the degree of risk which may be sizable. The reward of temporal investments usually provides benefit for its investors, but for only a few years and then is passed on to their heirs. An investment stored up in heaven, however, has no risk. Those doing so enjoy a return not just for a few years, but that which stretches into eternity! This reward will far exceed the original investment!
Heaven will be a place of rejoicing! Those who have stored up treasures in heaven will be permitted to see what the Lord has done through their gifts to Him and to his work. Many will come from all parts of the earth, different tribes and tongues, those whose lives were ministered to and spared physically due to the provisions given them by means of your gifts to Him. There will be those whose opportunity to come to know Christ personally and join the company of the redeemed was occasioned by the generosity of your gift for His kingdom work. Some will declare that the only Bible they received was one given by a Bible society because of your faithful support. Even the cup of cold water given to those who belong to Christ will certainly be rewarded. If our Lord remembers the cup of water, He will certainly remember and reward you for every penny invested with Him. The Lord himself tells us the following in Luke 16:9. “I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.” Each of us is given an opportunity to determine the size of our welcoming committee!
With the above promises in mind for our investment portfolio, we might ask the questions. How much should I invest in kingdom work? How much should I store up for myself? II Corinthians 9:6-7 answers that question! “Remember this: Whosoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” The answer, then, is that you can give as much as you want. There is no limit! You are given the choice as to whether you desire to reap sparingly or to reap generously!
In addition to rejoicing, there will also be responsibilities given to those faithful in storing up treasures in heaven. In Matthew 25:21,23 the Lord says the following to His servants. “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’” The following is written concerning our Lord in Hebrews 12:2. “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” His death and resurrection to life destroyed the works of the devil, cancelled our sins and provided pardon, purity and power to those He redeemed. Their entrance into Heaven as part of His glorified body was the joy set before Him. Each of us is invited to invest our time, our talents and our treasure to the accomplishment of this, His declared purpose from the foundation of the world. Is our ability to join Him in His joy enhanced by the realization that we were enabled to use earthly treasure to bring and influence others into His kingdom? This is the happiness which our master invites us to share with him in Matthew 25:21, 23 when He states “Come and share your master’s happiness!” Is it possible that our opportunity to share in His happiness is dependent, to some degree, upon the measure to which our treasure has contributed to His happiness? Is our happiness due in some measure, to our contribution in adding a diadem to His crown as some have suggested?
Our Lord loves you with a measure so infinite that it cannot be understood by a finite mind. This love desires that you be able to share as fully as possible in all His joy and happiness. To that end, it is His desire that you prepare for this by laying up treasures for yourselves in heaven.
In Christ, Richard Spann