It's Good To Be Greedy Part 3

The previous two articles we have been looking at Jesus’ teaching on treasures in heaven. in Matthew chapter 6, “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.” (6:19-21) I have broken down this passage into three sections: 1. What not to do (command 1) 2. What to do (command 2) and 3. A spiritual indicator. In this article we will look at the third and final section having to do with the heart of the matter (pun intended).

If you were to do an assessment of your spiritual life, how do you think you are doing? How healthy are you spiritually? Are you progressing? Growing? Are you even saved? It is an important question to consider. I mean we are talking about your eternal life. Because of its importance, we are told in the Bible to always be checking our hearts. To see how we are doing in our walk with God. “Meditate in your heart upon your bed, and be still.” (Psalm 4:4) Paul told the Galatians, “But each one must examine his own work…” (Galatians 6:4) But how would you measure something like this? What would you look at to know how well you are doing? Is there a way to even quantify something like this? Church attendance? How often do you read your Bible and pray? Your resistance to temptation? How often you give into sin? How much money you tithe? What is a good indicator? 

Jesus gives us the answer in this passage in Matthew…your bank statement! What? Where is that in these verses? The very last one, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” The best indication of what you love is what you spend your time and money on. Go ahead, I strongly encourage you to go online. Log into your bank account. Grab your bank statement and look over the last month. What do you see? Food, gas, bills…the usual stuff, right? Look deeper. What things are you buying? Stuff for your house, clothes, electronics, stuff for your hobbies or car? What personal items do you see? What bills do you see that are needs and what bills are wants? Sometimes we label something a “bill” just because we have to pay it every month. But is it a vital need like your electric and heating bill? Also grab any credit card statements you may have. Now compare what you spend to what you give. How much is spent giving to missions, your church, those in need? How much is your tithe? Then how much do you give beyond that? Do you give more than your tithe to your church? Do you give to other works of ministry for God’s kingdom? For where your treasure is there your heart will be also! To phrase it another way, you will spend money on what you think is worth it.

Think it is overkill? How much did you spend on your TV? How big of a TV did you get? Did you really have to? Or what do you like to do? Hunting? Fishing? How much did you spend on that rod and reel? How much do you spend on your tools? Your shoes? Your purse? Your car? Did you get the top of the line, something that was really worth it? I’ll eventually get to something that you splurged on because you viewed it as something that was worth it. And that proves my point; when you value something, you will spend money on it. 

Or maybe you're not the spending type. Maybe you like to save. Do you save more than you give? That can also be a spiritual indication. That you trust in yourself more than God. Saving is good and the Bible has much to say about being smart to save for a rainy day. But does your saving show that you are placing faith in yourself for when it begins to pour? Do you save all you can and give hardly anything? Does this show trust in the one who “knows what we need before you ask Him”? What does your finances say you treasure in your heart? Things of the earth? Or things that are of eternal value? Randy Alcorn says, “By telling us that our hearts follow our treasure, Jesus is saying, ‘show me your checkbook your VISA statements and your receipts, and I’ll show you where your heart is.’ As surely as the compass needle follows north, your heart will follow your treasure. Money leads; hearts follow.”

It is interesting to think how John the Baptist only had a camel skin for clothes, Jesus had nowhere to lay his head and we in America can’t possibly live without cable TV and multiple cars. JC Ryle said, “It may be that the vast increase of wealth in the last twenty five years has insensibly introduced a plague of worldliness and self indulgence and love of ease into social life. What were once called luxuries are now comforts and necessaries, and self denial and enduring hardness are consequently little known.” If you looked at nothing else but what you do with your money, what would that say about your spiritual condition? I heard of a pastor who told anyone that came to him for counseling that they had bring their checkbook with them. He would use that to help him discern the heart of the one seeking help. Does your bank statement show that you are building treasures on earth, or in heaven? Now there is nothing wrong with having money. There is also nothing sinful with having two cars as opposed to one. You are not going to hell because you have a 72 inch screen TV as opposed to a 26 inch standard definition. It is not money or things that are sinful. BUT it is the love of them that is! It is loving them more than God. 

So what do your finances tell you that you love? Because you will spend money on things you find valuable enough to part with your money. Do your finances show a love of God above all things? Or do your finances show that you are building treasures here on earth? Is this the best investment for your money? Going by Jesus’ logic, wouldn’t it be smarter to give more? Spend more on the Kingdom of God? Think about the first church in Acts. There are multiple references to the newly converted Christians selling what they do not need and giving to those that need it (Acts 2:44-45, 4:32, 34-35, 5:1-2). It is good to be greedy when you are greedy for the right things. Be greedy and build up treasures in heaven! “But Clint! I don’t have that much money to give. I only live paycheck to paycheck!” That is a great point. And in the next article I will address just that about our motivation when giving.

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