“What Jesus Demands From The World” – Daily Devotional (7/12/10): Demand #35 “Lay Up for Yourselves Treasures in Heaven by Giving Sacrificially and Generously”

Matthew 6:19-21

“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 10:8

“You received without paying; now give without pay.”

Luke 16:10-12

“One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own?”

“The more sacrificially generous you are on earth, the greater will be your enjoyment of heaven. Therefore, since Jesus loves us and summons us to maximize our eternal joy in heaven, he demands radical freedom from the love of money and radical generosity, especially toward the poor. The reason I say, “the more sacrificially generous you are” is because of what Jesus said about the widow’s offering. Here’s the story:

[Jesus] sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums. And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. And he called his disciples to him and said to them, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.” (Mark 12:41-44)

The point here is that the value of a gift is not measured by its size but by its sacrifice. She put in “more” than all, Jesus said. Not more in quantity, but more in sacrifice. The reason for this is that sacrifice is a better measure of where your heart is. If you are rich and give much, you have so much left over that your heart may easily rest in the remainder. But if you sacrifice for Jesus and have little left, then the heart has less to rest in. The heart is more likely to be resting in the hope of heaven. It is more likely to be depending on Jesus than on money. It is astonishing how much Jesus deals with money… Randy Alcorn reckons that “15 percent of everything Christ said relates to this topic—more than his teachings on heaven and hell combined (pg. 269-270).”

“Why does Jesus express such a remarkable concern with what we do with our money? The reason for this, it seems, is the basic principle that Jesus laid down: “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matt. 6:21; Luke 12:34). In other words, the reason money is so crucial is that what we do with it signals where our heart is. “Where our heart is” means where our worship is. When the heart is set on something, it values it, cherishes it, treasures it. That is what worship means… The reason money is so crucial for Jesus is that across all cultures and all ages it represents the alternative to God as the treasure of our hearts, and therefore the object of our worship. It becomes the great threat to our obedience to the first and last of the Ten Commandments: “You shall have no other gods before me” (Exod.20:3), and “You shall not covet” (Exod. 20:17). Money represents all the other material things and securities and pleasures that it can buy. Therefore, it represents the great alternative to God in our hearts. This is why what we do with our money is so crucial to Jesus (pg. 272-273).”

*** This call to “radical generosity” is one that God has been reminding me frequently about over the past few months.  Please check out the videos that I’ll have up all week on this topic, specifically the promotional video for another book (“Radical” by David Platt), which reminds us that Jesus’ mission will demand radical obedience and giving from those who follow after Him.

Blessings,

Pastor Josh

Published in: on July 12, 2010 at 9:00 AM  Leave a Comment  
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