Our November 2021 Stewardship Theme:
How rich are you? Most of us would respond to that question with a recitation of our material possessions. We would list bank accounts and their contents, stocks, bonds, houses, vehicles, and other so-called assets as tangible evidence of our wealth.
But is that how rich we are? Not really. Adrian Rogers said this, “If you want to know how rich you are, add up everything you have that money can’t buy and what you’ve sent on to heaven. That’s how rich you really are.”
There are two ways to send money on to heaven, or as the Bible phrases it, to “lay up treasures in heaven.”
One is to give to the work of the Lord. As we do that, particularly through giving our tithes and offerings here at Central United Methodist Church, we make deposits in what one writer described as the “Bank of Heaven.”
Another way to accomplish that goal is to give to meet the needs of other people. That’s the admonition provided by the Apostle Paul in 1 Timothy 6:17-19 when he instructed Timothy, “As for those who in the present age are rich, command them not to be haughty, or to set their
hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but rather on God. . . .They are to do good, to be rich in good works, generous, and ready to share.”
Compared to many people in the world, all of us — to one degree or another — have been richly blessed by God. That’s why we need to apply Paul’s counsel to our lives. As we follow his instruction, giving in the name of the Lord Jesus to meet the needs of others, we “lay up treasures” for the coming age.
One of the primary reasons God provides material blessings to us His children is that we might through those material provisions minister in His name to other people. According to Matthew 25:40, when we do that, even to what Jesus described as the “least” of His brethren, it is as though we have done it unto Him.
As one writer expressed it so well, “Investing in the lives of others and growing in our relationship with God are spiritual treasures. They are not subject to destruction or thievery. They are fully protected. Their value never diminishes.”
Or as an anonymous poet wrote,
“Shall the great Judge say, when my task is through,
that my soul had gathered some riches, too?
Or shall at the last it be mine to find
that all I had worked for was left behind?”
As you consider your true wealth and what really counts for eternity, think about this: How much better to be a poor person who is spiritually rich than a rich person who is spiritually poor.
How rich are you?