Wednesday, May 29, 2013

What Did Jesus Say About Keeping Wealth.

The Bible has a lot of advice about how to live life. When it comes to wealth much of what it says is clear common sense but sometimes it takes us above the world view.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy and thieves do not break in and steal." Matthew 6: 19-20. NIV.

To store something is to purposefully acquire and keep something. To store here includes the idea of hoarding, collecting, to lay something up or to accumulate.

Jesus spoke to the poorest people in the poorest country in the empire- when you are poor you may wish to be wealthy. Jesus did not use words like money or wealth but treasures, in the plural sense. There are many things we could be treasuring in this life; our treasure may not be gold and silver- anything can be viewed as a treasure.

The treasures we have here are temporary, they decay, are destroyed or are stolen.

Jesus encourages us to have heaven in our view. He suggests the treasures (again plural) in heaven do not diminish, decay, and are secure from loss or theft. The permanence of heaven is in contrast with the temporary nature of this world.

We each must decide how we will store up treasures in heaven. It may be by giving money or time or talent; it could service, mission, or frequent acts of generosity. It may be different for each of us. We must resolve to find the right way to store treasure in heaven.

To live generously and charitably changes our character, we become nobler and less selfish, more content and happy; and to consider God and obey his commands builds in us faith and saintliness.

"He is no fool to give up that which he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." Jim Elliott.

(c) Adron 2013