Philippians 4:17 (NIV) Not that I desire your gifts; what I desire is that more be credited to your account.
You have a spiritual account and every time you give or sow into God’s Kingdom; you are sowing into that spiritual account.
This is what Jesus refers to as ‘storing up treasures in heaven.’ He says it six times in the gospels and every time it relates to giving financially.
Jesus is giving the Christian believer some real perspective to make sure you don’t become too preoccupied with your earthly life. You will spend approximately 80 years on earth, but the plan is to spend eternity in heaven with God. Therefore, God says to steward your resources to ensure you are investing appropriately into your eternal home.
How do we invest in heaven? There’s only one way – by investing in people to ensure they go there.
There are only two things on earth that will last forever – God’s Word and people. And to invest in eternity means appropriately sowing your resources (i.e., time, talent and treasure), into these two areas.
Now there is a reason why Jesus wants you to be generous financially, towards the work of His kingdom. That’s because money can bring the greatest return for the Kingdom of God.
I remember a church member once said to me, ‘pastor, I can give with my time, even my talent but not my money.’ He was essentially limiting his investment in eternity because:
- Your talent (serving with your gifts) is limited by your ability – by what you can and cannot do.
- Your time is limited by your availability – by whatever else demands your time.
- But your money is not limited by either your ability or availability.
You see, you might not be able to preach; worship lead; serve in kids' church; go on a missions trip; teach hundreds in Bible College. But your giving enables you to do all of these things because the church can use your financial resources to recruit pastors, worshippers, build facilities and send people on missions trips! And what you need to understand is when you are generously and consistently sowing into your church, every salvation and every life change is also credited to your heavenly account!
This is why God established the practice of the tithe – first of all it is a spiritual kingdom principle that put’s God first in your life, but it's also how the local church wins its community for Christ, and every member of that church can be credited with the blessing of leading souls to Christ and transforming lives. Tithing and generosity are great investment advice!
Paul tells us this in 1 Timothy 6:18-19:
“Tell the rich to use their money for good…to give happily to those in need, always ready to share with whatever God has given them. By doing this they will be storing up real treasure for themselves in heaven – it is the safest investment for eternity!”