Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
—MATTHEW 6:19-21 [NIV]
I have been learning more about money lately. I know the topic of money is not evil, though sometimes while listening to certain appeals I have felt the world would be better off without it. Money is neither good nor evil, but money will often expose good and evil. How we use our money will reveal our values; giving makes known that in which our hearts ultimately trust. We tend to give our money to what we give our lives to. I find it amazing
that Jesus used money to expose hearts. In the temple He went right past those who opposed God through all of the absurdities they brought in and straightway went over to observe the people as they were giving. God is not interested in our money, for He gave it to us to begin with. His contention is that generosity comes not from a bank balance but from the attitude of the heart. People do not need more money to change the heart’s attitude; what they need is Jesus to transform their hearts to the extent that giving brings them a shout of joy. We must see money for what it really is. To me a most interesting aspect of money is how it represents our life in exchangeable form. We work, giving our time, talent, and energy; in exchange we are given money, which is not just a collection of paper and metal; it represents sacrifice and the expenditure of our lives. In giving we are presenting ourselves to God as a living sacrifice; giving is a form of our worship. Money is our servant; we are not to be its slaves (something we should remember when pulling out the credit card and indebting ourselves to others).
Money given in the Kingdom, although invisible in many ways, materializes in concrete ways through evangelism, helping others, provision for the needy, etc. It can make dreams a reality. The Tabernacle was built from the gold jewelry that was brought to the Lord. I marvel at what ALMI has been able to accomplish over the years. We stay with a Christian worker and pay. This is passed on to those who work with him; his food is purchased from a believer, the bricks are bought from a Christian’s factory, and his employees are paid.
How far does the money go? How greatly is it multiplied? God is in charge of that! True ministries receive donations because they are about people being blessed, His kingdom growing in tangible ways, and the revelation of hearts. I want all of us to use our wealth to serve God’s eternal purposes on this earth while we have the opportunity. Giving leads to the expansion of our hearts. “Not that I seek the gift itself, but I seek for the profit which increases to your account. But I have received everything in full, and have an abundance; I am amply supplied, having received from Epaphroditus what you have sent, a fragrant aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well-pleasing to God. And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:17-19).