Some of us as kids liked to search for buried treasure. Perhaps we read stories of pirates who looked for chests filled to overflowing with gold coins and precious stones. It was fun to dream of what one might find and then, what you would do with what you found. The possibilities were endless. We still treasure hunt today, often in the form of lottery tickets. How many of us, when the jackpot reaches a certain point, go out and buy a few tickets. The chances of winning are slim to none, but it is fun to dream what we would do with a huge jackpot. We could pay bills, buy a new house or vehicle. We could go on trips or eat at fancy restaurants. You will notice in all of that, there is one thing missing. I have not mentioned God once in all of my talk about treasure.
Matthew 6:19-21 tells us this. “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 yourself treasures in heaven, where neither moth or rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” All through scripture when the heart is mentioned it is intended that our hearts are the center of our being, including our emotions, reason, and will.
I am writing about treasure today because this is stewardship season. Sunday we will ask for pledges to be made for our giving for the upcoming year. Please do not stop reading just because I am speaking of stewardship. Jesus spent more time teaching about money than He did heaven and hell combined. He knew money would be an issue for us. We like to accumulate things, and many of us have way more than we need, myself included.
But giving is important. We read in John 3:27 that every single thing we receive comes from above. All we have comes as blessings from the Lord. Everything. No one likes to talk about giving but we are more than happy to receive the blessings that God gives us. No one likes to talk about giving but we are willing to spend all we have. God simply asks that we return a portion of what He has blessed us with, back to Him. I am not writing anything you have not already heard. But sometimes we need to be reminded that we have what we do because God has blessed us. And when we give back, He gives us even more. We cannot out give God. But we can shortchange Him. Malachi reminds us God challenges us to put Him to the test. Malachi 3:10, “Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of Hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.” God is challenging us to give what he asks of us and then we watch to see if He keeps His promises. He promises to meet all of our needs, not our wishes. This is not a promise of wealth in return for our obedience.
When we give, we get to be a part of something that is way bigger than we are. No one asks for us to give everything. But all of us together…we can make a difference in God’s name. We GET to give. God has chosen you and me to give to Him. How blessed we are to be willing and able to do so.
In His Grip
Pastor Matt W