“Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal.” ― Matthew 6:19-20.
If you have ever dabbled in the stock market, you have discovered that some investments simply don’t work out; they decline in value or lose all of their value all together. The Bible tells us that earthly wealth will ultimately lose all of its value unless it is converted into something of eternal value. Randy Alcorn in his book, The Treasure Principle, says “You can’t take it with you, but you can send it on ahead.” The idea is we are to use everything God has entrusted to us here on earth to store up treasures in heaven. Generosity is the investment vehicle of eternity. Of course we are talking about money and possessions, but we are also talking about being generous with affirming words, quality time and the gift of our talents.
Let me be honest. When you first choose to be generous, there is more apprehension than joy in the decision. It can seem risky. It can seem scary. Joy is in the act of faith when you give. And in what you receive. God wants us to use our money to tell the world the good news of Jesus Christ. “You are to go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone, everywhere.” (Mark 16:15 (TLB) We invest in eternity every time we use money to bring others to Jesus whether in Panama City, Florida or Panama City, Panama.
When you save to go on a mission trip, that’s an investment in helping the whole world find and follow Jesus. When you help others go on a mission trip, that’s an investment in helping the whole world find and follow Jesus as well. This also includes using your money to encourage your friends to trust in Jesus. Luke 16:9 says, “Use your worldly resources to benefit others and make friends. Then, when your earthly possessions are gone, they will welcome you to an eternal home”
You will never know how many people experience a life-changing relationship with God because of your generosity. Imagine when you die and get to heaven, you will encounter friends who say, “Thank you for investing in me. I’m in heaven because you cared enough. You bought me a Bible. You made it possible for me to get some counseling and for me to attend a life-changing event. You made it possible for a missionary to come to my little town and tell me about Jesus. Because of your generosity, I became a follower of Christ. I’m in heaven because you sent it on ahead instead of taking it with you.”
We should be completely humbled at what God is working in and through His church. By giving, you are investing in the eternity of lives in our community and around the world. So send it on ahead; invest your life – your treasure, your time, your talent – in helping the whole world find and follow Jesus.
- How do we we stockpile in this life what is valuable in Heaven?
- What can we do the week to send ahead our treasures to Heaven?