Where are your Treasures?

Opening Prayer: 

Dear Lord, thank you for giving your very life for me, for demonstrating mercy at the cross, for me. Let me be mindful of the ‘cost’ you paid for my soul to be redeemed and to count that cost when I consider what I might give up in this life to love you and serve you more.

 

Read: Matthew 19:21, NIV

21 “Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

 

Reflect: 

Have you ever heard the phrase, “do you have possessions or do your possessions have you?” That certainly was the question for this rich young ruler when Jesus posed this startling question. The young ruler felt that he had done a lot of “good” things and I believe, wanted to impress Jesus. Ironically, Jesus saw him coming a mile away and while this man seemed quite benevolent, he had most likely “given” to others out of his “abundance.” It was no sacrifice for the giving he had done up to that point, but he felt he had done a great job because of the “amount” of giving he had done, not the “cost” of his giving. He was, like many people today, a “good man.” He carefully observed and obeyed all the commandments, but probably nothing more than that. He proudly waltzed up to Jesus and said, ‘I have done it all, what else do you need me to do?”

Fast forward to Jesus sitting in the temple with His disciples, observing the various people giving their offerings: “As he looked up, Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. “I tell you the truth, he said, this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.” (Luke 21:1-4 NIV). In Jesus’ economy, it wasn’t the quantity, it was the gift in proportion to the ability of the giver! Matthew 6:19-21 says, “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, for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Giving is a difficult thing because we naturally hate parting with things we have. Ironically, these things can be a distraction or stumbling block to drawing closer to God. Consider today what things consume your time, energy and resources that you could possibly do without. In author Randy Alcorn’s book, The Treasure Principle: Unlocking the Secret of Joyful Giving, he makes this statement: “You can’t take it with you, but you can send it on ahead.” Given the call of God on all of us to help build his kingdom until he comes back, are we managing the resources he has given us as wisely as possible?

 

Apply: 

Consider the lifestyle of giving you currently walk in. Do you feel like you are at a crossroads, where you have given all you can and can see no increases coming in your future? Now consider where you are financially and spiritually. Are you as far as you hope to be? When you ponder the idea of your impact on the kingdom of God and possibly being able to “send treasures ahead” …is God speaking to you to cross that line and do more? Are we more like the rich young ruler or more like the widow who gave two mites? Pray that God leads you in these challenging thoughts today, through His Holy Spirit.

 

Closing Prayer: 

Dear Lord, I know that you gave it all for my life, redeeming me from Hell and eternal separation from God by enduring the cross and paying the price for me. Show me how, every day, to help others come to this saving knowledge of you through a heart of giving. For where our treasure is, there will our heart be also!

Terry Schneider