Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Eternal Wealth


Wealth and money have been in the news more than usual over the last few years.  First we heard terms such as subprime mortgages and credit default swaps.  Lately subjects have included income disparity, the recession and the situation in Greece just to name a few.

Earthly wealth
There are all kinds of earthly wealth - money, gold, stocks.  Some spend their lives building up earthly wealth as they think that's the only kind there is.  No matter how much money we have, we never seem to have enough.

The Bible says quite a bit about earthly wealth.  One example is a passage in Matt. 6:19-21 where Jesus talks about earthly and eternal wealth.  Regarding earthly wealth:

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal(Matt. 6:19 KJV)

Fancy clothes, money, gold and other precious metals can lose value over time(where moth and rust doth corrupt).  Moths destroy clothes while metal rusts.  The value of currency, gold and other commodities has gone up but inevitably goes down.  Something else about earthly treasures is thieves can steal them(where thieves break through and steal).

Jesus is not saying we shouldn't save our money or have earthly treasures.  We should save for the future and emergencies.  Rather we should not be too consumed by earthly wealth or covet it.  We also should not store it at the cost of eternal wealth.

Eternal wealth
Then there's eternal wealth or Heavenly treasures.  Jesus said this:

But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal(Matt. 6:20)

Unlike earthly wealth, eternal wealth never loses its value.  Thieves also can never steal it from us.

How do we get eternal wealth?  Our good works on Earth allow us to accumulate it.  When we spread the Word, forgive others or donate generously, we store up eternal treasures like making a deposit into a bank account or 401K.

With all the troubles of this world, this all might not be any consolation as we cannot check on our eternal rewards like we can with an online bank account or a 401K.  However, the Apostle Paul says

While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal(2 Cor.  4:18)

We tend to only look at things that can be seen, but they are only temporary.  Money, gold and other material possessions will eventually disappear in a fire, flood or some other way.  The things we can't see have the most value and last forever.  Perhaps the best way to close is this quote from Jesus:

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also(Matt. 6:21)

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