Bible · Christian · Faith · Grace · Jesus

store up for yourselves treasures in heaven – Matthew 6:20

Not all treasure is silver and gold mate’ (Captain Jack Sparrow – The Curse of the Black Pearl)

So what is treasure really? The Merriam Webster online dictionary defines treasure as;

wealth (such as money, jewels, or precious metals) stored up or hoarded’ or ‘something of great worth or value’ (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/treasure – accessed 02/03/19).

So what actually defines something as treasure? Even the pirate captain, Jack Sparrow knew that all that is desirable, is not just shiny and pretty, or even very expensive; ‘Not all treasure is silver and gold mate’ (Cpt. J. Sparrow), some things have great worth to us, but are worthless to others, such a photographs of loved ones who have died, or personal items that belonged to them.

Do we have treasure, as measured in earthly standards? We are reminded that we should live, and be different from people who do not love and follow Jesus;

Do not conform to the patterns of this world’ (Romans 12:2 NIV).

Do we have vast treasure on earth, or large sums of money that is there for us, and only us?

Do not get me wrong, I personally think that having savings for a ‘rainy day’ is a good thing. God gives us all things (Romans 11:36), money being only one of them, and being a good steward with what we have, is different from squirrelling away every penny and being miserly with our money. There is nothing wrong with having money and savings in the bank, it is how we think about, and treat those savings;

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils’ (1 Timothy 6:10 ESV).

Having lots of money does not necessarily make you a bad person, and not having much money, does also, not always make you a good person.

Bill Gates is one of the founding members of a 190 strong, growing charity, with its people based in over 20 different countries around the globe, and it was started in August 2010; it is called ‘The Giving Pledge’ (https://givingpledge.org/ – accessed 02/03/19). The members pledge either as a couple or a single person, to give away at least half of their wealth on issues such as;

poverty alleviation, refugee aid, disaster relief, global health, education, women and girls’ empowerment, medical research, arts and culture, criminal justice reform, and environmental sustainability’ (https://givingpledge.org/About.aspx – accessed 02/03/19).

Some may say that it is easy to give away half of your money, when you are still going to have more left than most people will earn in a lifetime, but they are willingly choosing, joyfully giving away, and there lies the difference.

Could you, or would you decide to give away over half of your money if you had £5,000,000.00 (five million pounds)?

The Bible asks us to;

Honour the LORD with your wealth’ (Proverbs 3:9 ESV).

The Bible also mentions about giving a ‘tenth’ of what we have, as Abraham did, (Genesis 14:20); Jacob also promised to give a tenth if God watched over him on a journey (Genesis 28:20-22)

Some people get hung up on the ‘tenth’, but does the amount you give really matter?

Does it matter whether you give 10% or 8% or less, or more?

Is it not really the way in which we give?

In 1978, Henry Smith wrote a wonderful song called ‘Give Thanks’. The first line says;

Give thanks with grateful heart’ (Henry Smith – 1978).

There were some really wealthy men who would walk past the Offertory plate and drop large sums of money in it, making sure that they were seen doing so, and a little while later, a little old lady, hobbled up, and quickly and quietly dropped in, without making a fuss, a little sum of money, 2 coins, everything that she owned. (Mark 12:41-44 & Luke 2:1-4).

Who gave more, and who gave with the right heart?

In my humble opinion, we should give what we can, but give willingly. There is no point grudgingly giving a tenth of everything you have, what good does it do? If you can willingly give less, then do so, but do it with your heart in the right place. Do it willingly, as a heart-felt gift to the ‘Maker of the Universe’. Some places say that you should give until it hurts, then regularly give just a little less. Others say that it is not all about money, you can give of your time and talent too.

Again, in my opinion, we should give, and not make a huge fuss about it. If you were to help out a needy person, or feed someone who is homeless, that is a good thing, but if you then go about and tell everyone what you had done, did you do it with the right heart?

So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honoured by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you’ (Matthew 6:2-4 NIV).

Give!

Give willingly!

Give with a joyous heart!

Give, because God has already given to you;

Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand’ (1 Chronicles 29:14 NIV).

IMG_0210

The splendour of the King
Clothed in majesty
Let all the earth rejoice
All the earth rejoice
He wraps Himself in light
And darkness tries to hide
And trembles at His voice
And trembles at His voice

How great is our God
Sing with me
How great is our God
And all will see how great
How great is our God

And age to age He stands
And time is in His hands
Beginning and the End
Beginning and the End
The Godhead three in one
Father Spirit Son
The Lion and the Lamb
The Lion and the Lamb

Name above all names
Worthy of all praise
My heart will sing
How great is our God

How Great Is Our God

Chris Tomlin, Ed Cash, Jesse Reeves

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Father we thank you for giving us everything that we have. Help us to be willing to give to those around us that are in need, help us to do so with a willing heart, and heart full of love for you and them. Lord we get everything that we need from you help us to give some of it to those less fortunate than us.

Amen

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