Matthew 6:19-21 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
When I was a little boy I used to receive an allowance of 85 cents each week. I liked to save up my allowance to buy myself things. Sometimes I would save up enough to buy a Hot Wheels car or a new piece of equipment for my G.I. Joe.
When I got a little older my dad would pay me more to do bigger jobs around our yard and I saved up enough to buy a baseball glove. When I was in 7th grade I started working on my uncle’s farm and I was able to save enough to buy a small stereo system for my room.
I don’t know what has happened to my toy cars or my G.I. Joe today. They were probably thrown away when my parents moved or sold in a garage sale. My old ball glove is too small to fit me anymore. The stereo quit working years ago. All these things that I saved up to buy don’t do me any good.
Part of my allowance I wasn’t allowed to save. My parents made me put a quarter from my allowance in the offering plate on Sunday morning. Another quarter went into the Sunday School offering. At the time I didn’t think much about it, but part of that money is still around.
You see, that money went to support my congregation and the work of the church. My quarters were added to the quarters of the other children in that Sunday school, and the dollars contributed by the adults, and together they helped to pay our pastor at home and send missionaries to other places. Those pastors and missionaries preached God’s word, people learned about Jesus and came to faith, and those people will live with you and me in heaven forever.
Some of those quarters I gave on Sunday morning helped our church to send a pastor to Corpus Christi, Texas, to open Gethsemane Lutheran Church. There Pastor Leyrer shared God’s word with my wife and introduced her to the unconditional gospel of God’s grace. It is humbling to think that God used my quarters when I was a little boy to bring Jesus to my future wife. It fills my heart with even greater thanks to know that she and others I have never met will spend forever in heaven with me because people cared enough to support the work of spreading Jesus’ name.
In Matthew chapter 6 Jesus tells us, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Like my Hot Wheels, my G.I. Joe, my ball glove, and my stereo, our earthly treasures don’t last very long. Moths eat up our clothes, and rust eats up our cars. Jesus asks us to store up our treasures in heaven. One way we can do this is by bringing our offerings before the Lord on Sunday so that he can use them to spread the Gospel to others. Those people, then, become a part of our heavenly treasure. We will have them as friends in heaven forever and ever, and nothing can take that away from us. They are a treasure which truly lasts.
Our Lord wouldn’t have to use our offerings to spread his word around the world. But because he loves us, and because that fills us with love for him, he graciously allows us to do his mission work for him. We lose nothing when we support his work at home and around a world. Our treasure is secure with him.