FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 16: I am always fascinated to learn about what Jesus taught. I’ve come to respect and be amazed by relevancy of the Word of God to my everyday life and all I see around me.

He is compassionate, but not a pushover; kind, but not afraid to correct you; He can be humorous, but can stun you into contemplative silence with His truths.

This week Jesus gives us the latter type of teaching — the one that leaves you in silent contemplation. 

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 our heart will be also. The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness. No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money (Matthew 6:19-24).

Jesus gives a command that ought to convict every Bermudian, including me!

He says, do not focus your life storing up treasures on earth because all that we store up will eventually come to ruin.

Every form of material goods that we have will not last. Did you know that Bermuda (and each of us as Bermudians) leads the world in garbage production! 

We throw away more garbage per capita [which means per person] than any other country in the world. We out-trash the US, UK, Brazil, China, Saudi Arabia.We have a tendency to get bored with what we have so we crave an “upgrade”, even though what we have is still functioning. 

Materialism

These ‘upgrades’ are not limited to electronics, iPhones, or video games, but include clothing, appliances, cars, and all the other ‘toys’ we accumulate as children or adults. 

Our materialistic society deceives us into believing that ‘he who dies with the most toys wins’… but being dead, ‘he’ leaves it all behind nonetheless. How do we break free from this wasteful way of living?

Jesus made it clear:  Instead of investing our resources in material things, we can actually invest our resources into something else.

Now, this is not the teaching that says, “Give your pastor all your money so God can bless you”, or the false teaching that says, “If you want to know God’s will, buy a prophecy.” One would think more believers would see that false teaching from afar.

Jesus points out that you can invest your resources in God’s work, rather than just accumulating more ‘stuff’ to add to our closets full of clothes, shoes, plugs to gadgets that we can no longer find, and so on.  A better investment would be to place our resources in God’s kingdom.

Could that mean your church? If you attend one that is concerned about people’s lives and not just meeting for the sake of tradition it could, but God’s work is not limited to your church.We can support missionaries sent out by organizations such as Gospel for Asia or Operation Mobilization. We can invest in children’s programmes run by Compassion International, or feeding programmes in Haiti.

When we support the spread the gospel of Jesus Christ — the good news that God gives eternal life as a free gift to anyone who believes in Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection — we are investing in God’s work and storing up treasure in heaven.

What we invest in has an eternal value and not a quick fix for a temporary craving.

Storing up treasure in heaven includes not only our treasures (money), but also our talents and time.  Jesus made it clear that your heart will be where your treasure is. If you are storing treasure on earth, you have fixed your eyes and heart on the temporal things of this life; if you are storing treasure in heaven, you have graduated to a higher grade of living and your heart is fixed on what matters most - eternity. 

God made it clear … you cannot serve both God and money. How much are you investing for eternity?  Investing is in proportion to your resources. Remember the widow that gave the smallest denomination of money, but it was all she had. 

I encourage you to read Randy Alcorn’s book entitled The Treasure Principle. He says it well: It’s not about how much you give, but how much you give in proportion to what you keep. 

The ultimate test to expose your heart is to examine what you do with your money. Remember, you can’t take it with you, but you can send it on ahead.