All our pieces of gold are but current to the grave; none of them will pass in the future world. Therefore as merchants when they travel make over their monies here, to receive them by bills of exchange in another country; let us do good with our goods while we live, that when we die, by a blessed bill of exchange, we may receive them again in the Kingdom of heaven (Luke 16:9). To part with what we cannot keep, that we may get that we cannot lose, is a good bargain. Wealth can do us no good, unless it help us toward heaven.
Another benefit of giving is freedom. It’s a matter of basic physics. The greater the mass, the greater the hold that mass exerts. The more things we own – the greater their total mass – the more they grip us, setting us in orbit around them. Finally, like a black hole, they suck us in… We think we own our possessions, but too often they own us.. .Every item we buy is one more thing to think about, talk about, clean, repair, rearrange, fret over, and replace when it goes bad.
When Jesus warns us not to store up treasures on earth, it’s not just because wealth might be lost; it’s because wealth will always be lost. Either it leaves us while we live, or we leave it when we die. No exceptions… Realizing its value is temporary should radically affect our investment strategy… According to Jesus, storing up earthly treasures isn’t simply wrong. It’s just plain stupid.
Selfishness is when we pursue gain at the expense of others. But God doesn’t have a limited number of treasures to distribute. When you store up treasures for yourself in heaven, it doesn’t reduce the treasures available to others. In fact, it is by serving God and others that we store up heavenly treasures. Everyone gains; no one loses.
When you leave this world, will you be known as one who accumulated treasures on earth that you couldn’t keep? Or will you be recognized as one who invested treasures in heaven that you couldn’t lose?
You can’t take it with you – but you can send it on ahead.
Many Christians dread the thought of leaving this world. Why? Because so many have stored up their treasures on earth, not in heaven. Each day brings us closer to death. If your treasures are on earth, that means each day brings you closer to losing your treasures.
He who lays up treasures on earth spends his life backing away from his treasures. To him, death is loss. He who lays up treasures in heaven looks forward to eternity; he’s moving daily toward his treasures. To him, death is gain. He who spends his life moving toward his treasures has reason to rejoice. Are you despairing or rejoicing?
The more you give, the more comes back to you, because God is the greatest giver in the universe, and He won’t let you outgive Him. Go ahead and try. See what happens.
You may think, No problem there. I’m putting my church and ministries in my will. By all means, do your estate planning and give heavily to God’s kingdom. But what kind of trust does it take to part with your money once you die? You don’t have any choice! Death isn’t your best opportunity to give; it’s the end of your opportunity to give. God rewards acts of faith done while we’re still living.
I’ve heard people say, “I want more of a heart for missions.” I always respond, “Jesus tells you exactly how to get it. Put your money in missions – and in your church and the poor – and your heart will follow.”
To dispense our wealth liberally, is the best way to preserve it.
If we believe heaven to be our country, it is better for us to transmit our wealth thither, than to retain it here, where we may lose it by a sudden removal.
Christianity teacheth me that what I charitably give alive, I carry with me dead; and experience teacheth me that what I leave behind, I lose. I will carry that treasure with me by giving it, which the worldling loseth by keeping it; so, while his corpse shall carry nothing but a winding cloth to his grave, I shall be richer under the earth than I was above it.
The key to liberation from the power of materialism is not an exodus from culture – abandoning Wall Street or leaving the wealth of the nation to others – but the grace of giving… Givers for God disarm the power of money. They invite God’s grace to flow through them.
The moment someone begins to give for the sake of receiving more back from the Lord, or he stops sowing bountifully in order to increase his own possessions, the river of God’s bounty will no longer continue to flow.
The Autobiography of George Muller, 1984, p. 196. All quotations taken from books published by Whitaker House are used with permission of the publisher. Whitaker House books are available at Christian bookstores everywhere. Get this book!
Quit being satisfied with little 2-percent yields of pleasure that get eaten up by the moths of inflation and the rust of death. Invest in the blue-chip, high-yield, divinely insured securities of heaven. Giving your life to material comforts and thrills is like throwing money down a rat hole. But a life invested in the labor of love yields dividends of joy unsurpassed and unending
We see the word “grace” used in 2 Corinthians 8:4. Paul says, “Begging us with much urging for the favor of participation in the support of the saints.” NASB uses “favor.” NIV uses “privilege.” Both are the English translations for the Greek word “charis,” “grace.” Giving to God’s work is often seen as a burden, a reluctant action that will now make us go without something we want to do a whole lot more with that money – not only a horrible thought, but also an unbiblical perspective. It may shock us, but the Bible describes giving as a blessing, a privilege for many reasons. We are blessed when we give. Didn’t Jesus Himself say, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Ac. 20:28). Don’t we read in 2 Corinthians 9:6 that “he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully?” You want bountiful blessings from God? Then you must sow bountifully! How about the long-term blessing too – the spiritual rewards forever in heaven that Jesus promised. “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 neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal” (Mt. 6:19-20).
In all of my years of service to my Lord, I have discovered a truth that has never failed and has never been compromised. That truth is that it is beyond the realm of possibilities that one has the ability to out give God. Even if I give the whole of my worth to Him, He will find a way to give back to me much more than I gave.
God has a way of giving by the cartloads to those who give away by shovelfuls.