“Life is short. You only live once.”
You’ve probably heard this cliché before and you can take it in positive or negative light. You can either be carelessly adventurous with your decisions without thinking of the consequences, or you can be mindful of every choice you make because you understand that anything you do will have an impact on your future, and more importantly, your eternity.
You see, how we look at how long we live in the world impacts the way we manage our resources. God has given us time, talents, and treasures; all of which have value and can be used to benefit others, or simply consumed for selfish interests.
We don’t know how long we will last here on earth but the book of Psalms often uses words like “fleeting,” “nothing,” “breath,” and “phantom” to describe man’s life. Our life on earth is but a tiny speck compared to the timeline of eternity. Many of Jesus’ parables remind us of keeping an eternal perspective.
What the Bible says about having treasures?
Luke 12:32-34 says, “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Contrary to what modern pop culture preaches, God’s Word tells us to invest in eternal things rather than accumulate material possessions. Most people know that they can’t take treasures with them but unfortunately keep on living a life in pursuit of worldly wealth.
The Bible does not tell us that having a lot of possessions or being rich is evil. But it does say that we are to keep ourselves from the love of money because we cannot serve both God and money. We read in Matthew 19:24 that “it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
How could that be, you ask? The answer is clearly described in the Luke 12:34, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
The fact of the matter is that where our treasure is, our heart is. Where is our heart? Which do we value – financial or eternal treasure? To whom do we rely on, God or money?
Worshipping what we value
The word “treasure” means “the object you value.” If the object you value is God in heaven, your heart will be with God in heaven. But if the object that you value is money and things on the earth, then your heart will be on the earth.
If you’re a believer, you should consider God as infinitely valuable above everything. You should treasure God more than we treasure all your possessions.
If you do that, worldly possessions will not be your master and you will not pursue it as if it’s your life but instead, you will live simply and find ways how you can serve the Lord through your possessions. Instead of accumulating, you will give and give. You will work so that you may have something to share with those in need.
Giving as a way of storing up heavenly treasures
Worldly wealth is temporary, it comes and it goes. But when you consider biblical principles, you can become rich in the world to come while focusing on what matters to God.
We must choose how we invest ourselves. We need to become intentional about the use of our time, talent, and treasure. Paul said in 2 Corinthians 4:18 that we must “fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
Once you have the right frame of mind of who our real treasure should be, we’ll have different priorities from most people. We’ll receive what God has given us and use our resources not for own comfort, pleasure, and personal gratification.
Ask yourself, are you fixated on things that pass away like a vapor—or are you investing significantly in the things of God, which do not?
Investing in Eternity
The Lord wants us to trust obey his Word when it comes to how we spend our resources. You should think of ways how you can use your time, talent and treasure as a tool to serve God, and bless other people in need.
We find the story in Matthew 13:44 that 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.
You and I should consider nothing on earth can match an eternal treasure. If we do have any possessions, we need to invest toward that treasure.
We read that in Luke 9:23-24, Jesus said “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.”
Getting the Right Point of View
By nature, we are all self-centred. The only way we can get the right perspective is by engaging ourselves in the Word of God. Reading and memorising Bible verses causes a “spiritual chemical reaction.”
When we meditate upon the Scriptures, we get God’s point of view regarding this life and what’s most important. We understand that whether we eat or drink or whatever we do, we need to do it for His glory (1 Corinthians 10:31).
How you handle your finances is a huge part of life so the Lord expects them to be a major part of your worship. The way you use your money and your possessions shows how much you treasure God. In the end, our wealth is not measured by our keeping, but by our giving – not by our treasure on earth, but by our treasures in heaven.