Dear brothers and sisters,
We have an ability to respond to God’s goodness and graciousness, and how we respond shapes our souls. As disciples, we take responsibility both for the formation of our hearts and souls, and we take responsibility for the mission of the Church. We’ve been talking about prayer and giving. Last week we said that our possessions will either draw us closer to God or corrupt our souls. Today we will talk about looking at our material goods through the “lens” of eternity. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says: Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and decay destroy, and thieves break in and steal (Matthew 6:19). Jesus is saying that it’s not wise to store up “stuff” which will pass away, as our primary goal in life. Jesus continues: But store up treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor decay destroys, nor thieves break in and steal (6:20). It is wiser to build up a treasure in heaven, because it can never be taken from you. John Ortberg says that wise people build their lives on what is eternal, and they squeeze in what is temporary. In other words, wise people make their primary investment, their primary strategy, to put their treasure in eternal things. For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be (6:21). If our money is primarily invested our house, our car, even in our family members, that’s where our heart will be; but if we put our treasure in heaven, we will have a foothold there. How do we do this practically? Jesus suggests giving to the poor – making giving a regular habit in our lives and in our personal budgets and having a regular plan for sacrificial giving. Giving is ultimately an act of trust in God, that his promise of an “eternal investment” that can never be taken away is true. Questions for Small Groups:
Talk about a time when someone was generous to you with his or her money, time or influence. How did that person’s generosity affect you?
Which of these statements creates more anxiety in you: “There is no God” or “There is no money”?
Respond to this statement: We don’t get credit for what we leave, but what we give.
What is one thing you can do this week to begin viewing wealth through the lens of eternity?
How much money would you need to secure your future against all imaginable eventualities?