Summary: This sermon deals with Jesus’ call to us to store up treasures in heaven rather than merely stockpiling wealth for the here and now.
Money and Giving
Pastor Greg Tabor
Lighthouse Assembly of God
There was a song years ago entitled ‘I Wanna Be Rich.’ It said ‘I want money, lots and lots of money.’ That song’s lyrics are just as true today. People want money and they want all the things that money can buy. Even people that don’t really have money find ways to accumulate possessions and ‘toys.’ While culture changes, it is obvious from our passage of Scripture today that the need to talk about wealth and what to do with it doesn’t change. Jesus had to deal with the issue of money and possessions and so do we.
Let’s read our main text: Matthew 6:19-35.
Where should I invest my treasure?
“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.”
When investing your money, you look into different types of accounts out there and what the pros and cons of each are. You want what is going to give you the best return, don’t you?
Do you think of giving tithes, giving to missions, etc., as investing? You should. Especially if you are considering how to invest your money and what will bring you the best returns.
Before we go any further, it is important that you and I understand something about our relationship to money. Answering the question ‘What is the Biblical View of Wealth?,’ in his book The Bible Answer Book, Hank Hanegraaff writes, “First, it is crucial to realize that “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it” (Psalm 24:1). God is the Landlord; we are just tenants. We did not arrive with anything, and we will not take anything with us when we leave. Just remembering this fact of life will save us from a world of hurt.”(p.79). Randy Alcorn, in his book The Treasure Principle writes: “A steward manages assets for the owner’s benefit. The steward carries no sense of entitlement to the assets he manages. It’s his job to find out what the owner wants done with his assets, then carry out his will.”(p.24).
With that said, two things to take note of here: First of all, we are stewards of God’s money. Secondly, God tells us how to invest His money and tells us that, by doing things His way, we will be the recipients of the dividends. So what does He tell us to do?
a. Don’t stock pile your treasures on earth. Why? Jesus tells us that storing treasures on earth makes them susceptible to decay and thievery. He uses such things as moths, rust and thieves to illustrate His point. All three of those are representative of the many things that destroy or steal our treasures that we’ve decided to store on earth. When you look at it from that point of view, investing primarily in earthly possessions makes no sense, does it? Not to mention that when this life is over, if we’ve invested only in temporary earthly things, Heaven’s vaults will hold no treasure for us.
b. Store your treasures in heaven. Why? Heaven’s vaults are 100% moth, rust and thief proof. We are guaranteed a better security than the FDIC every dreamed of offering. Every single investment made into heaven’s account will be kept safe and will multiply. Randy Alcorn writes, ‘You can’t take it with you, but you can send it on ahead.’ We would be wise to take our earthly wealth and exchange it for heavenly currency by investing it into things that make an eternal difference. When our investing is done that way, we will open Heaven’s vaults one day to treasures that will last and be truly satisfying. It’s a no brainer. Either invest in earthly things and lose it all eventually or invest into the things of God, giving up temporary riches for true riches that will last.
Let me give you a scriptural example of a man that had a short-sighted view of wealth and invested everything into earthly possessions rather than eternal treasures. In Luke 12:16-21 NIV it says,
“16And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. 17He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’ 18“Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’ 20“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ 21“This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.”