Jesus told the rich young man that he could trade in his earthly treasure for heavenly treasure by giving it to the poor (Mark 10:21, Matthew 19:21). A treasure is something we find valuable such as a house or a car. It is not hidden treasure at the bottom of the ocean or in some cave but is an earthly possession that cost a lot of money. Jesus is telling the rich young man that he can spend his earthly possessions to save up heavenly ones. These heavenly possessions are not identified conclusively in this verse but Paul gives us an idea when he says, "what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not you? For you are our glory and joy (1 Thess. 2:19-20)." Heavenly treasures, in part, are other people who know the Lord Jesus Christ. We can store up money for ourselves or we can invest in other people.

It sometimes feels as if the greatest battle on this earth is practicing delayed gratification. We know that the rewards are better in heaven but we still find all sorts of excuses to have what we want now! What good is a new car today if we die tomorrow. People often say that if they had known what they know now they never would have done what they did then. We need to keep in perspective the shortness of life and how much God values us. He was willing to send His only Son to die for us. Are we willing to give the possessions He has given to us for others, just like He did? Making money is not the problem but keeping it all to yourself is!

Living in the prosperous ease of the West makes us ask the question, how much should we give? Typically people recommend 10%. The Rich Fool saved up his money for retirement so that he could relax, eat, drink, and be merry. But he was a fool because none of it matters if you die tomorrow (Luke 12:19). Is Jesus really asking us not to save up for retirement? That is for you to decide. Is all our talk about being a good steward of our money just an excuse to be greedy? Is buying a bigger house the best investment for our money when people don't even have a house? Each person will have to stand before the judgment throne of God and answer for what they have done on this earth. If we have spent all of His money on ourselves we are going to be pretty embarrassed. It is not about how much to give but about what is the best eternal investment.

This investment will look different for everyone but it will be rich toward God. In the end it is our loss not His. It was His to begin with!


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