Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in Heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Pastors discuss heavenly bank accounts and the Lord's supernatural returns.* I believed I was living this message, and grew proud of my generosity--while my pocket book stayed plump and padded. Lately, my purse has lost a lot of weight. So will my faith shrink right along with it?
Because I've dissed prosperity preachers, but now I face my own hypocrisy. Have I been a prosperity Christian? Loving Jesus like the rich young ruler, instead of the poor widow with two mites?**
Actors, models and talent for Christ: Here are two things I know are true (because the Lord tells us they are true):
1) The Lord warned us: we will be tested. 'I, the Lord, search the heart and examine the mind' (Jeremiah 17:10).*** Whether you're rich, poor--or in between, your priorities will be tested. Loving money is a grave temptation, especially when you've got a lot. Just the thinnest thread of millionaires resist falling in love with their stuff.****
2) More of us should aspire to be poor. 'Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God' (Luke 6:20). Perhaps heaven's easiest entry will be for those poor in possessions who love Christ--and believe they are rich. Research affirms what Jesus observed: poorer people give more of themselves.*****
So let's remember: lasting fortunes are accrued by kind hearts doing good, and the joy of loving what we've got... as opposed to what we can get.
To Be Continued...
* Previous AMTC Devotion: Sermon on the Mount, Your Treasure Chest:
* Previous AMTC Devotion: Proverbs For Performers, God's Banking System:
** Jesus Counsels the Rich Young Ruler:
** The Widow's Two Mites:
*** Verses about the testing of our faith:
**** 'Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God' (Matthew 19:24).
***** Short article: As Wealthy Give Smaller Share of Income to Charity, Middle Class Digs Deeper:
***** Short article: US poor and middle class give more to charity, but wealthy pull back:
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Do-Gooders series.