True Riches

by Robert Morris

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

The Blessed Life

Yesterday, we talked about how you can't serve two masters. In Luke 16:13, Jesus makes it clear that we can't serve both God and mammon at the same time. He says, "No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other." But when we back up to verse 9, Jesus says something very important: "And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by unrighteous mammon, that when you fail, they may receive you into an everlasting home." In other words, we should use our earthly possessions to benefit others, so that when we die and leave our possessions behind, we'll be welcomed into heaven by those we helped.

We're instructed to use our money for that which is eternal. And what in our lives is eternal? People! The only lasting things we encounter each day are people. The human soul is eternal. That's why at Gateway our motto is "we're all about people." If I use my money to bring people to Christ, they'll welcome me into heaven when I die.

Notice in Luke 16:9, it doesn't say that money will welcome you. It says the friends you make will receive you into your everlasting home. I know one day I'm going to be greeted by people who are in heaven because I gave to churches, ministries, and missionaries that are bringing people to Christ. Just as He turned water into wine, God can turn money into souls. He's the only one who can turn unrighteous mammon into true riches.

In today's verse, Matthew 6:19–21, Jesus talks a lot about this, but He says it in a different way. He says, "Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven." Luke 16:9 precisely instructs us how to put our treasure in heaven—by being good stewards on earth and using our money for righteous purposes. That's why I want to use it to invest in churches and ministries that are investing in people. I want my money to be used in helping people, loving people, feeding people, and caring for people.

But the enemy works hard to get us to store our treasures here on earth. He does this by corrupting and distorting our thoughts about money. He knows the more money we give to the church, the more souls are going to be saved, the more the kingdom of God will advance, and the kingdom of darkness is going to fail. And so he tries to get us to put our trust in money rather than in God so that we don't become more like our heavenly Father.

At this point, you might be thinking, Well, I don't have any money so this giving stuff really doesn't apply to me. I believe that having only a little bit of money gives us a great opportunity for blessing. In Luke 16:10, Jesus tells us, "He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much." God is looking for people He can entrust with much, and He says that if you will be faithful with little, God will give you more. Later, in verse 12, Jesus says, "And if you have not been faithful in what is another man's, who will give you what is your own?"

What I'm trying to help us see is that it's not how much we have that matters— it's whose it is. All the money we have is His, not ours. Jesus tells me I need to be faithful with what is someone else's, because "if you have not been faithful in what is another man's, who will give you what is your own?" (Luke 16:12). When we obey Jesus' words in Luke 16, we are proving to God that we can be trusted with more, and even more importantly, we are truly putting our treasures in heaven.

Prayer

Lord, I want to use the money You’ve blessed me with to invest in eternal treasure, not temporary things. As I put my trust in You, help me direct my offerings—no matter how small or large—to Your righteous purposes. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

For Further Study

  • 1 Peter 4:10
  • Luke 12:42–48
  • Proverbs 11:28
  • Luke 16:9 (NLT)
1 Peter 4:10Luke 12:42–48Proverbs 11:28Luke 16:9 (NLT)
Robert Morris
Matthew 6:19–21