19 Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; 21 for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.—Matthew 6:19-21
What do you want out of life? Perhaps an even more challenging question is, what is it that consumes your thoughts, time, energy, and money? As Christians, we live in two worlds—this earthly one and a heavenly one. However, since the earthly realm is all we can see, it’s easy to become sidetracked and begin living more for it than for the spiritual realm into which we’ve been transferred by Jesus Christ.
One day we will each appear before the judgment seat of Christ as He evaluates our works (2 Corinthians 5:10). But this doesn’t mean that our eternal security is at stake—Jesus paid the penalty for our sins, and we are citizens of heaven. We could, however, lose rewards depending on our handling of earthly treasure as opposed to that of heavenly treasure.
Instead of waiting, let’s begin to pay attention now to how we’re living. We must guard against investing everything for ourselves and nothing for the life to come. When we are blinded by our own desires and personal satisfaction, it is easy to become lukewarm about spiritual matters. Then God seems far away, we have no hunger to read the Bible daily, and prayer is reserved for those occasions when we need help.
The Scriptures repeatedly warn us to be attentive to spiritual matters—the Lord is to have first place in our life and be the center of our affections. Setting our hearts on the lesser things of this world not only robs us of heavenly treasure; it also keeps us from enjoying the spiritual blessings that are available right now to those who are in Christ.
6But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment. 7For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. 8If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content. 9But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. 10For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. 1 Timothy 6:6-10
Contentment is an illusive animal. You can search for it all day long but if you are looking in the wrong places, you will not find it. Some will search in the piles of money they have or in and around their big mansion on the lake. They might even look for it in the trunk of their very fancy and expensive car. But, their searching is to no avail. Why?
When you search for contentment you must have the proper equipment, which includes God’s word, a repentant heart and a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. These tools will prevent you from falling into temptation or harmful desires created by Satan.
As Paul says in verse 10 above, “the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil. If you pursue it too long you will wander away from the faith and be pierced by many griefs.” If you believe God’s word to be true, then you will also find it to be your greatest source of contentment. God makes many promises to his children (that’s us) stating He will take care of every need we have.
All the devil has to offer is empty promises, deceit and lies.
The next time you find yourself pursuing that promotion to the exclusion of all else, or spending the last bit of your paycheck to buy lottery tickets in hopes of winning the big one, then you may find you’ve fallen into the devil’s trap. He makes all of this look great but in the end, you will find yourself miserable and wishing you’d made the right choice of finding contentment with Jesus.
A final thought so supremely captured in verse 7 above says, “For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either.” Trust in God to be happy until He calls you home to the supreme contentment of your life, in heaven.
Does your mountain of debt seem bigger to you than your almighty heavenly Father? If so, your focus is on your own inabilities instead of the Lord’s faithfulness. For those who turn to God in genuine repentance and surrender, He will supply the needed resources as well as the persistence to repay what is owed.
God wants you to be financially free, and He will show you the way. However, it’s usually not a fast fix but a slow and steady approach that will prepare you to avoid future debt. Confess that you haven’t been a good steward of your resources, commit to making some sacrificial changes, and consistently work toward your goal. But above all else, rely on the Lord, and He will be faithful.