Hearts in the Right Place
I have to be honest; this week’s sermon will not be preached for the first time on Sunday. I shared this message at Taylor University in January. When I was asked to speak at Taylor’s chapel, I felt that this text would be especially applicable to college students. The stage of life, often called late adolescence, is a season of learning and discovery. In this stage, we are often building patterns that will continue for the rest of our life. I wanted to challenge these college students with the idea of stewardship, of taking what we have been given and using it for the Kingdom of God.
As we have mentioned already, stewardship is more than money. Sure, it involves money, but it also involves our time and energy. In this week’s text, Jesus offers incredible insight into how our investments affect our hearts. The teaching is succinct,
(Matthew 6:19–21 NIV) “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.
On Sunday, we will explore this teaching in detail. We will consider what it means to store up treasures. We will reflect on the eternal ramifications of earthly investments compared to heavenly investments. But for the purpose of this blog entry, I want to focus on this last sentence. Jesus said,
(Matthew 6:21 NIV) For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Jesus understands our inner being. He formed us, created us and designed us. He knows how we work. Jesus recognizes that our hearts will naturally gravitate to the places where we put our time, attention and money (our treasure). It is just how it works. This is an important truth as we talk about stewardship. We often picture God in need of our resources. We reason, “We should give back to God so that the church can function, the poor can have their needs met and missionaries can travel abroad.” But the reality is that God already has all the resources He needs. God does not need us to give. We read in Psalm 50,
(Psalms 50:9–10 NIV) I have no need of a bull from your stall or of goats from your pens, for every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills.
God wants us to faithfully steward our resources because he wants our hearts. God deeply desires that our hearts be integrated into the Kingdom of God. And He knows that our hearts will follow our treasure. Do you have trouble thinking about the things of God? Do you long to be more connected to your heavenly Father? Do you want your heart to be in sync with God’s heart? The solution is simple. Begin to place your treasure in the things of God; your heart will naturally follow. May our hearts gravitate toward God’s heart. May we learn to store up in the right places so that our most valuable treasure, our heart, will be in the right place.