If you abide in Me and My word abides in you, then you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.
We’ve referred to Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount several times recently. Perhaps that’s because it’s the most definitive recording we have of His statements of theology.
Today’s discussion comes from three very familiar verses in the middle of Matthew 6. Verse 19 says, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.” We’ve all heard this verse read dozens, or maybe hundreds, of times. Then He admonishes us in verse 20, “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal.”
Both of these verses give us very sound advice. Things of this earth are temporal and do not last, while things of heaven are eternal and last forever. But if we stop after reading those two verses, we miss one of the great promises God gave us in His word.
Verse 21 reads, “for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Sounds pretty simple, doesn’t it? But how profound! Think about it for a minute.
Do you know someone who has a lot of money invested in the stock market? If so, chances are that person keeps a close eye on the Dow Jones, the S & P and a lot of other things that reflect how the market is doing.
How about a farmer? Got any of those in your family or among your friends? Ever notice how much more attention they pay to the weather than most of us do? They have to keep a close eye on it to know what actions to take. Of course, the farmer also has to keep a close eye on commodities prices, new developments in farm equipment, seed, fertilizers and so forth.
Are we beginning to see a pattern here? The investor’s money leads his attention to stock-market related things. The farmer’s money leads his into all sorts of things that affect agriculture. Where their money is, there their hearts will be also.
This is not an indictment of farmers or investors. I have dear Christian relatives and friends in both categories. They have to pay attention to these things. The point is not to put ALL our money (and hearts) into these earthly pursuits.
I’ve heard lots of sermons preached on tithing, and they usually present it as a command—an onerous duty—and more often than not accompany the sermon with a plea for more money for this or that project their particular church is pursuing. Tithing IS something God expects of a Christian, but He doesn’t beat us over the head with it as some drastic requirement.
Of course, if you listen to the prosperity preachers, tithing is presented as a way we can manipulate God into making us rich—after we make that preacher or ministry rich first, of course. I never will forget the first such preaching I heard some thirty years ago. I won’t mention the preacher’s name, but the message was that every time I tithed a dollar, God had to give me back one hundred dollars.
How many cycles of that would it take before God owed me ten trillion dollars? Is there something wrong with this picture?
Matthew 6:19 gives us the best reason ever to tithe: where our money is, there our hearts will be also. When we put our money into God’s work—whether it be tithing to my local church or supporting poor children in South America and Africa through the work of Compassion International or whatever Godly entity He calls us to support—He uses our human nature to draw our hearts along after the money.
I can’t make myself Godly, but I can allow my money to lead my heart more and more into God’s kingdom and His work. To me, that sounds like a lot more important reward than getting a hundredfold return, and it certainly beats grudgingly putting money in a collection plate because someone says I have to.
What do you think about this principle of letting your money lead your heart into God’s kingdom? I love hearing from you.
For more information about David N. Walker, click the “About” tag above. For more information about his book, click the “Heaven Sent” tag above.
Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet him at @davidnwalkertx