Well, first of all, we can all agree that God’s Word has power. Isaiah 55:11 tells us, “So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”
The Holy Spirit is the author of God’s Word and He gives it the power to accomplish “any and all things that God shall purpose.”
So, that brings us back to Matthew 6:21, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
WHERE YOUR TREASURE IS …
This verse reveals a truth that has both a positive and negative connotation. The negative connotation is that if you spend the resources God gives you on ungodly things, your heart will follow after those things. In the positive sense, though, the verse tells us that if we use God’s resources in righteous and godly ways, our hearts will naturally follow after those things.
You can also look at the verse in two other ways. Is Jesus saying that the emotion comes before the act, or after? Does the heart follow the treasure, or does the treasure follow the heart? And why is that important?
It’s important because all of this is leading up to something we talk about a lot here on the program, the power of money. Money has power, and that’s what Jesus is really saying, and probably why there are over 2300 verses in the Bible dealing with money and possessions.
You may not want to put your treasure (and it’s not really yours, by the way) on godly things, such as giving to your church. Maybe that’s very difficult for you to do. If so, Matthew 6:21 should give you hope and encouragement. It says you can change your attitude by changing your actions.
THE POWER OF GIVING
Now, how exactly does that work, especially if money has so much power over our lives? Money has power, but so does God’s Word, and so does giving. In fact, giving has a very specific power— it has the power to break money’s control over us.
That seems counterintuitive, but it’s true. The late pastor Charles Stanley liked to say that we need to hold money with an open hand because if we close our fist around it, it takes control of our thinking and behavior.
Financial teacher and author Ron Blue says, “It’s not that my heart is where I put my treasure. It’s where I put my treasure … there is where my heart will go. The heart follows treasure, not the other way around. Jesus wants me to treasure Him and a relationship with Him and I can’t if money or mammon is my god.”
Jesus says a lot about money in the Gospels, most of it warning us about its power. A little further in Matthew 6, in verse 24, He says we must make a choice: “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”
Note that Jesus doesn’t say that it’s difficult to serve God and money. He says it’s impossible to serve God and money. He’s saying you have to make a choice— God or money.
In 1 Timothy 6:10, Paul tells us what happens when we make the wrong choice. He writes, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”
If you doubt that’s the case, consider that loving money more than God is really idolatry.
It’s no different than the Israelites worshiping a golden calf.
Now, to be clear, there’s nothing wrong with acquiring wealth, and acquiring more than you need. If the Lord didn’t allow that, we wouldn’t have anything to give. Money is not the root of evil. The LOVE OF MONEY is.
That’s what Jesus is saying in Matthew 19:23 & 24, “Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”
A bit of hyperbole there, perhaps, to make a point. If you love riches, it will be difficult to enter heaven because you’re choosing money over God. The only way to break the power that money has over you is to give generously to God’s Kingdom.
We hope this encourages you to be a generous giver, starting with your local church and then expanding to other ministries as you’re able.
On today’s program, Rob also answers listener questions:
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