I have a jar of money. I collected this treasure through my various travels across Europe and Asia. One would think that since it is rather a full jar that I should be heading to the bank to deposit it into a savings account. Right? There’s only one problem, the money is useless. In fact it is a collection of coins and paper money from countries that still exist but no longer honor this currency. You see, some countries have changed their currency which renders the old coins I have as worthless. It doesn’t matter how many coins I have or what the written value is that is stamped on them because their country no longer acknowledges them for the exchange of goods. I am hanging on to them anyway because they are great conversation pieces and they interest my son and will probably interest my granddaughter one day as well. Jesus talked about our treasures, did you know that?
“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 neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also, Matthew 6:19-21, (New American Standard Bible or NASB).
You see governments come and go on this earth. What was used for currency in previous generations might not be used in our generation. We in America have been blessed with a stable currency to exchange for goods and services for several generations now. In fact that last time currency changes happened was during the Civil War in the late 1800’s when the South had their own currency and the North had their own as well. Confederate money, from the South, is no longer allowed to be used although many do collect it as a hobby and in that way it maintains some value. For some countries, however, in one generation the currency may have changed many times. Jesus is teaching us to not put our faith in money or gold or currency or jewels or anything except in Him. Everything else will eventually be obsolete, just like my jar of money. Jesus teaches us something else about money and treasures.
Then He said to them, “Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.” And He told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man was very productive. “And he began reasoning to himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops?’ “Then he said, ‘This is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. ‘And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry.”’ “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?’ “So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God,” Luke 12:15-21, (NASB).
The warning is clear: don’t put your trust in what you have as security for the future because you may not live to see tomorrow. God is the one who sees all that you do and will decided whether you live another day or not. Rather have a better attitude about wealth and security. Use your wealth to help others and for building up the down trodden and heart-broken. Use wealth to help widows and orphans and those who are in need of help (James 1:27). Don’t fall into the trap of using your money for only yourself and your own pleasures. Jesus even went further, take a look.
And He said to His disciples, “For this reason I say to you, do not worry about your life, as to what you will eat; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. “For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. “Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap; they have no storeroom nor barn, and yet God feeds them; how much more valuable you are than the birds! “And which of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life’s span? “If then you cannot do even a very little thing, why do you worry about other matters? “Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; but I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. “But if God so clothes the grass in the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will He clothe you? You men of little faith! “And do not seek what you will eat and what you will drink, and do not keep worrying. “For all these things the nations of the world eagerly seek; but your Father knows that you need these things. “But seek His kingdom, and these things will be added to you. “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom. “Sell your possessions and give to charity; make yourselves money belts which do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near nor moth destroys. “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also, Luke 12:22-32, (NASB).
Wow! I have a long way to go in following this teaching. I live in a rich country compared to most of the world. I don’t consider myself rich though. Yet I have been trying to take this teaching to heart. I want my treasure to be in heaven and not made up of things from this world. I have decided that I don’t need to buy a new pair of shoes just because I like them and they’re on sale, I might want them but I don’t really need them. I am making a conscious choice not to purchase a new car when my old car I’ve driven for ten years is still working well and I recognize that God has blessed me with this car. I am making the intentional decision not to purchase a new purse or new clothes just because I have the money to do so. If it isn’t a need I don’t want to spend the money for it. I would rather spend this money in a way that honor’s God. I will send it to a worthy Christian organization that will use it to help the people who are truly in need. I will give it to my church where I know it does good. I will use it to buy groceries for a family in need or buy school supplies for children who need them.
I have a long way to go in following this teaching of Christ. I have not sold all my possessions and given it to charity but I can make a difference in this world by holding off on purchases and using the things God has blessed me with already. I want my heart to be in the right place. I want my eyes to see the needs of others and my heart to respond with helping fill the needs rather than spending on my own pleasures. Let’s face it; do most of us really need another purse or pair of shoes or new clothes? No, most of us don’t really need anything we just want new things because we become so easily bored with what we have. That, my friend, is a trap designed by marketing firms to get us to part with hard-earned money. We can be smarter and we can begin to see with wise eyes and wise hearts. I hope you will join me in following this teaching of Christ. Let’s change the world by changing our attitudes and hearts. Let’s make our treasure something that lasts an eternity rather than something that ends when this world ends or our life ends.