Chapter 43
Treasures on Earth

“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.”
(Matthew 6:19-21)

“Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.  Sell your possessions, and give to the needy.  Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys.  For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
(Luke 12:32-34)

Jesus calls us to use worldly wealth for eternal purposes; to not store it up for selfish purposes.  Scripture condemns those who are wealthy when they use their wealth and power for selfish purposes (James 5:1-6).  Those who are rich are instructed to do otherwise:

As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.  They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.  (1Timothy 6:17-19)

For myself, I find this subject of wealth management very difficult to balance properly.  On one hand we have verses that emphasize the need to trust God for our needs, such as:

“Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.  But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”  (Matthew 6:31-33)

Other verses emphasize the importance of work:

But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.  (1Timothy 5:8)

For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.  (2Thessalonians 3:10)

And some verses speak of the wisdom of some types of storage:

In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but a foolish man devours all he has.  (Proverbs 21:20 NIV)

Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise!  It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest.  (Proverbs 6:6-8 NIV)

For Further Reflection

Proverbs 6:9-11:  How long will you lie there?

Proverbs 30:7-9:  Give me neither poverty nor riches.

Matthew 6:19-34:  Do not be anxious about tomorrow.

Luke 12:13-34:  Be on your guard against all kinds of greed.

Luke 16:1-15:  The shrewd manager.

2Corinthians 9:6-11:  You will be enriched in every way.

1Thessalonians 4:11-12:  Work with your hands.

2Thessalonians 3:10-12:  Earn your own bread.

1Timothy 6:6-10:  Be content.

Hebrews 13:5:  Be content with what you have.

1John 1:9:  If we confess our sins…

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