What’s in your wallet?
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
The Great Depression of the 1930’s in the United States of America caused several who had lived through it to gain a distain and mistrust of the banking industry. Now, I am not writing to advocate for or against the modern banking industry; although, I will say that great strides were made following the depression to insure that people would never lose all their money. Nor, would they be denied access to it again. Of course, a similar experience happened in the savings and loans crisis during the late 70’s through the 80’s effecting again some oversight regulations for the modern credit unions. All of these things help to contribute to the mistrust of millions of older Americans in regards to banks and banking type institutions.
I had my first experience with how deep this mistrust ran in some during the 90’s while working as a Customer Service Representative (teller) for a bank. I had the privilege of watching a family bring in coffee can after coffee can of money. Yes, that is right, their mother, grandmother and great grandmother had passed and left all of her and her husband’s accumulated wealth in coffee cans. The cans were not just left in the home; rather, they were taken outside to the fenced backyard and buried. They were buried with no rhyme or reason. For literally months on end, this family came in with coffee can after coffee can of money. Sometimes the cans were full of coins, sometimes bills, but never a set amount. There were bills and coins dating as far back as the 1950’s.
After several months of digging the family felt they had found all the cans; but honestly, they were not sure. What I found interesting though was that even though the cans accumulated to a significant sum all we as the bank could do was to pay the face value of any of the currency; even though the family was sure it should have been worth much more.
I learned a lot about wealth accumulation from watching this family. They thought for sure that they were going to dig up millions. However, in the end, what they received for their months of labors, though not worthless, fell very south of what they thought they would have. This led them to believe that someone, perhaps one of them, had stolen the bulk of the wealth.
I wonder how many of us too are storing away our treasures where they cannot gain worth. And, in fact, just lead those around us to believe that our worth must be a significant amount because of all we have stored.
The warning the Lord is giving His disciples in this the verses comes just prior to the one above when He says:
Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
Lay not up: meaning to amass or store-up. Many of us will spend a lot of our efforts trying to amass the so called riches off this world never understanding where true riches lie. Let me pose a question to you to try to explain the point I am driving at.
What is the only thing that we are able to be a part in this world that will be present in the next?
I hope you realize the only thing eternal in this life beside God the Father, Son and Spirit, Their Word and the angels are the souls of men. See, that is the true treasure that we can store up in Heaven. It is not my works in this life, or anything I can produce, it is only those who by the power of God come to a saving faith in the finished work of the Lord Jesus. Maybe you are asking yourself, well, what part do we get to play in that scenario?
Let’s look at a few passages to discover our role in the Savior’s plan.
First, that which we call the great commission:
And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
We see clearly in this passage that the Lord desires to use us to share the good news; which, is what the word gospel means, after all. I want you to notice though that the power to save is never given to us. The power lies entirely with the Lord, but, we who have accepted the free gift of salvation from the Lord have been empowered by His Spirit that we might share the gospel.
And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
Did you read in this passage where when we receive power after the Holy Ghost comes upon us? What are we to do with this power? BE WITNESSES!!!
There is also unique instruction about where we are to witness. Notice, Jesus said first to Jerusalem, then Judaea, Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth.
Was the Lord telling us that we all must head to Jerusalem before we start sharing the Gospel? Of course not, He is trying to make the point that we must start where we are, with those in our lives and then we can begin to go out. If you will allow me a little latitude here, I would say it thus: start with your home, then to your extended family and friends, next to your acquaintances, than to your town, county, state, region and etc.
Now, understand, that does not mean we do not continue to share with Jerusalem. No, in fact, one of the reasons that we start in Jerusalem is that those are the ones who will be most likely to see your transformed life.
I remember that at my conversion the transformation the Spirit had done in me was so dramatic that once my mother sat me down and asked me what kind of a cult I had gotten involved in and did I need any help getting out.
I am getting a little off track here though back to the title of our discussion. I am sure we all have heard the commercial for the credit card that asks “What’s in your wallet?” I choose this as the title for the thought because we should be asking ourselves a similar question when it comes to the “wealth” we are amassing are you storing up your treasure in Heaven or here on Earth?
We must use what the Lord has given us, our talents, our health, and our wealth, all we have to further the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Having the same heart we saw in the apostle Paul:
For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel! For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me. What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel. For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. And this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.
1 Corinthians 9:16-23
We should have a desire to use that which has been given us to see lives saved through the power of the Spirit that they may be partakers with us in eternal life.
Because, that is all that we can store up!
So, again, I ask “What’s in your wallet?”