In this day and age we are bombarded by choice, never before have we had so many choices about what we can do and what we can spend our money on. Each year we are showered in billions of dollars of advertising messages designed to make us feel inadequate and to convince us to part with our hard earned dollars.
We seem to forget this reality:
Everyone comes naked from their mother’s womb, and as everyone comes, so they depart. They take nothing from their toil that they can carry in their hands.
As Christians we know that life is short, and that our real home awaits, but so often we get caught in the daily rush of life and lose sight of this amazing future. So I think Jesus words can provide us with a helpful perspective.
He once said:
“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.
Jesus reminds us that heaven is something so precious, that if we were to find it we would give up everything in order to have it. What is fascinating about this verse, is that this guy sold everything, and was filled with joy. He didn’t miss all the other things that he had given up, he focused on the real treasure, the treasure that lasts.
In the last few years there has been a number of books claiming that the person visited heaven. Irrespective of whether you believe these stories to be true, one of the consistent themes between them was the overwhelming love, beyond any human experience, that the individual experienced as they arrived in heaven. I really believe that if we knew how good heaven was going to be, most of us would live radically different lives. The challenges and hardships of this life would be insignificant in an instant.
I remember a survey that I was told about a few years ago, where they interviewed a lot of retirees about what they would do differently if they had their life over again. There were a number of very consistent themes among them.
Many said they would have taken far more risks. What I find interesting is that as humans we often take the wrong sorts of risks. We borrow too much money, we speculate with investments and do all sorts of silly things with our money.
But let me tell you about the right kind of risks. When it comes to giving money, many see it as a risky activity. After all the basic maths says that once you give it, you now have less. The laws of maths say if you add 5 + 2 you get 7. If you give 2 then you’re back to 5. But this is not how it works in God’s economy. Remember the story of Jesus feeding the five thousand? (Matthew [14:13]-21) In this story the boy gives Jesus his 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. What did it equal? 5000 people were fed and there were still 12 loaves left over at the end!
When you give money in God’s economy it is multiplied. It packs a punch for eternity. You may never know in this lifetime the impact that your generosity had on others but in heaven you will find out and you will be rewarded accordingly. I look forward to the day when I will meet people in heaven who were blessed by the funds that I gave.
Where is your treasure?
“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
This passage is worth some serious reflection. What do you treasure? What captures your heart?
WHAT WILL HEAVEN BE LIKE?
If we had a glimpse of heaven, a taste of heaven for just five minutes, enough so we got an insight into our final destination then we would hand over the keys to everything we have in an instant.
In 1 Corinthians 3 (v1) it says to set your mind on things above. The intention of this verse is to get us to focus on things eternal, things of value that will last. But I want you to focus on one eternal thing in particular for the moment. We say ‘life is short’ but we often then go on about our day and get back to our routine. But lets stop for a minute and go to heaven:
➢ Heaven has many rooms and Jesus is preparing one for you (John 14:2-3)
➢ We will have new bodies (2 Corinthians 5:6-8)
➢ There will be a great feast (Matthew [8:11])
➢ We will mix with Angels & you will meet the ones that protected you (Hebrews [1:14])
➢ You will enjoy & share your heavenly treasure (Matt [6:19]-21)
➢ There will be no more death, mourning, crying or pain (Revelation 21:4)
➢ We will find rest (Revelation [14:13])
➢ We will serve him (Revelation 22:3)
➢ We will be from all tribes and tongues and worship God together (Revelation 7:9-10)
Sounds pretty good, huh? Let’s not forget as Christians our future is assured and it is better than we can imagine.