By Alex CookWednesday 22 Jul 2020
In this day and age we are bombarded by choice. Never before have we had so many options for what we can do with our time—and how we can spend our money.
Each year we are showered in billions of dollars worth of advertising messages, designed to make us feel inadequate and to convince us to part with our hard-earned.
We seem to forget this biblical reality: “Everyone comes naked from their mother’s womb, and as everyone comes, so they depart. They take nothing from their toil that they can carry in their hands.” (Ecclesiastes 5:15)
Christians know that life is short, and that our real home awaits us in heaven, but so often we get caught in the daily rush of life and lose sight of this amazing future. So I think Jesus’ words can provide us with a helpful perspective.
The Wisdom of Jesus Keeps us Grounded
Jesus once said: “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.” (Matthew 13:44)
Jesus reminds us that heaven is something so precious, that if we were to find it, we would give up everything in order to have it. What is fascinating about this verse, is that this guy sold everything, and was filled with joy. He didn’t miss all the other things that he had given up; he focused on the real treasure, the treasure that lasts.
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In the last few years there have been a number of books by people claiming they’ve visited heaven. At least one has turned out to have been a hoax; but many have not.
Irrespective of whether you believe these stories to be true, one of the consistent themes between them was the overwhelming love, beyond any human experience, that the individual experienced as they arrived in heaven. I really believe that if we knew how good heaven was going to be, most of us would live radically different lives. The challenges and hardships of this life would be insignificant in an instant.
The Great Rewards of Giving
I once heard about a survey in which retirees were asked what they’d do differently if they had their life over again. There were a number of very consistent themes among them.
Many said they would have taken far more risks. What I find interesting is that as humans, we often take the wrong sorts of risks. We borrow too much money, we speculate with investments, and do all sorts of silly things with our money.
But let me tell you about the right kind of risks.
“Many see giving as a risky activity. Once you give it, you have less… But when you give money in God’s economy, it is multiplied.”
Many see giving or donating money as a risky activity. After all, the basic maths says that once you give it, you now have less. The laws of maths say that if you add 5 + 2, you get 7. If you give 2, then you’re back to 5 again.
But this is not how it works in God’s economy. Remember the story of Jesus feeding the five thousand? In this Bible story (found in Matthew 13:13-21), the boy gives Jesus his five loaves of bread and two fish. What did it equal? It equalled 5000 people being fed – with still 12 loaves left over at the end of the meal!
When you give money in God’s economy, it is multiplied. It packs a punch for eternity. You may never know in this lifetime the impact that your generosity had on others, but the Bible tells us that in heaven we will be rewarded accordingly. I look forward to the day when I will meet people in heaven who were blessed by the funds that I gave.
Where is Your Treasure?
The gospel of Luke in the Bible contains another of Jesus’ famous sayings about money: “So don’t be afraid, little flock. For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to those in need. This will store up treasure for you in heaven! And the purses of heaven never get old or develop holes. Your treasure will be safe; no thief can steal it and no moth can destroy it. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.” (Luke 12:32-34, NLT)
This passage is worth some serious reflection. What do you treasure? What captures your heart?
A Moment to Think About Heaven
If we had a glimpse of heaven, a taste of heaven for just five minutes, enough so we got an insight into our final destination, then we would hand over the keys to everything we have in an instant.
The Bible urges us to set our minds on things above (1 Corinthians 3:1). The intention of this verse is to get us to focus on things eternal, things of value that will last.
But I want you to focus on one eternal thing in particular for the moment. We say ‘life is short’ but we often then go on about our day and get back to our routine. Why don’t we stop for a minute and think about the truths of heaven:
➢ Heaven has many rooms and Jesus is preparing one for you (John 14:2-3)
➢ We will have new bodies in heaven (2 Corinthians 5:6-8)
➢ There will be a great feast (Matthew 8:11)
➢ We will mix with angels and you will meet the ones that protected you (Hebrews 1:14)
➢ You will enjoy and share your heavenly treasure (Matt 6:19-21)
➢ There will be no more death, mourning, crying or pain (Revelation 21:4)
➢ We will find rest (Revelation 14:13)
➢ We will serve him (Revelation 22:3)
➢ We will be from all tribes and tongues and worship God together (Revelation 7:9-10)
Sounds pretty good, huh? Let’s not forget as Christians our future is assured and it is better than we can imagine.
Article supplied with thanks to Wealth with Purpose. About the Author: Alex is a licensed financial planner and the founder of Wealth with Purpose a Stewardship Ministry that helps Christians handle their money God’s way.