How to Achieve True Wealth
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Luke 12:34
For the individual who believed that his giving was a strictly private matter—between only God and himself, a lot of what Jesus said when He was on Earth must have been rather disturbing. Author Randy Alcorn says that about 15% of everything that Jesus said has to do with your possessions and what you do with them. So why was what Jesus said so disconcerting to people? Repeatedly he urged people—not to give money to Him personally--but rather to give to the poor and needy, and thereby have treasure in heaven.
Consider some of these statements: To the man identified as a rich young ruler he said, "One thing you lack…. Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven” (Mark 10:21). Forget investing wisely so you could give more, or setting aside enough you could endow the local college. Jesus taught there was a connection between giving away what you have and treasure in heaven.
Or what of the time Jesus observed the poor widow who put two small copper coins in the temple offering box? “Truly I tell you,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all of them”—meaning the steady flow of individuals who contributed, expecting praise for their generosity.
On another occasion, He talked about a man—apparently, a good business manager—who tore down his barns to build bigger ones and spoke of him as a fool because he did not realize what he accrued stayed when he died, leaving him spiritually impoverished.
Jesus taught that the more you give away, the more you have in the currency of heaven, which can never be taken from you. With very unworldly wisdom he said that the more you give, the larger will be the shovel or the measure of what God gives back to you, being that God is debtor to no one. Here’s the text: “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you" (Luke 6:38). “Jesus was just speaking metaphorically,” says the person who has never experienced the strange mathematics of turning loose of that which has the greatest grip on your life—your wealth.
On another occasion, Jesus spoke warmly and intimately to the disciples and said, "Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys” (Luke 12:32-33).
Speaking of the flock and the kingdom in the same sentence mixes metaphors, but He whose mission was to show lost sheep how to get back to the Father’s kingdom could speak of both. The flock, of course, was a picture of sheep in need of a shepherd, and He asserted that He was the Good Shepherd who knows the voice of His sheep. And the kingdom, of course, implied that there is a King who can give the subjects of the Kingdom whatever He chooses; but there is a connection between turning loose of what most people cherish the most here—your wealth and your security—to be rich in joy and blessing in the Father’s kingdom.
Your attitude towards money tells a great deal about your truth wealth—not the stocks and bonds you have, or the bottom line of a financial statement, but whether or not you are free to give sacrificially and generously that you may be rich in God’s kingdom.
Resource reading: Luke 12:13-34