For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
An Open Checkbook
What if you lost your checkbook and someone honest found it and returned it to you? Would you be worried if someone saw your ledger? Would you be embarrassed about where your money was going? Your checkbook is open and your ledger can be seen, but it is by you alone and, more importantly, by God. Don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to lay a guilt trip on anyone. You are not accountable to anyone but God, but there is such uncertainty in riches (1 Tim. 6:17) because the Lord gives and the Lord takes away (Job 1:21). James gives serious warnings to those who are rich but only because they have gained it at other people’s expense (James 5). One old pastor said that you can measure a person’s heart by how much he or she gives away. We’re to store up treasures in heaven and not on earth because here on earth, there is no certainty in riches (Matt. 6:19).
Sowing and Reaping
Every farmer knows that he or she will reap only what they sow, but they also realize that they reap much later than they sow. If the weather is good, they reap much more than they sow. The same principle applies to those who sow into the kingdom. If you sow into the kingdom’s work, God will surely increase your harvest, not just financially but in righteousness (2 Cor. 9:10). God’s Word assures us that whoever it is that gives to the poor will have no lack (Prov. 28:27). When you give to those in need, God sees it as giving to Him, and He promises to reward those who do such things (Prov. 19:17). In an ironic way, the more someone gives (sows), the more they increase (reap), but the one who withholds can easily come into poverty (Prov. 11:24).
Tight Fists, Hardened Hearts
God sees the hardening of the heart and shutting out of the poor, the widows, and the orphans as the same thing (Deut. 15:7-11). Those who have a soft heart will consider the cause of the poor, and God calls such people as righteous (Prov. 29:7). Those who shut their eyes and ears to others’ needs may cry out to God someday for help, but He won’t hear them any more than someone who’s not heard the needs of the poor (Prov. 21:13). If we oppress the poor, we are doing it to God (Prov. 14:31), and that’s not a good place to be. If someone asked to look at your checkbook ledger, would you be embarrassed about where they see your money going? I must ask myself that same question because surely our hearts are where our treasure is (Luke 12:32), and God knows our hearts and our checkbook ledgers are like an open book to Him.
A Closing Prayer
Great God in heaven, please help me to be less stingy so that You can be more generous to me. In this, I can be of greater help to those who are less fortunate. It’s a matter of trust, so please give me a tender, open, generous heart because You gave the most in Your Son, as He died for me (John 3:16). In Jesus’ name I pray.
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