Tarnished Coins to Unfailing Treasure
When I was a young boy my Granddad would give me a Silver Dollar for each birthday. I was never allowed to spend this money, rather it was placed in a scrap book which would be turned over to me when I grew up. I was convinced that those silver dollars would someday be worth a lot of money. Several years ago, when I was sufficiently grown, my mother turned the scrap book over to me. So naturally, I eagerly looked through the book for those silver dollars. What I found was seven, very tarnished silver dollars, sliding around within the yellowed pages of the book. What a disappointment. After 60 years, the value of those tarnished coins turns out to be no more than the value of the silver they contained. My boyhood dream of having a fantastic coin collection worth lots of money, turned out to be just that, a boyhood dream.
Jesus taught us in Matthew 6:19-21 that treasure stored up on earth is subject to the decay, destruction, and theft robbing it of any lasting value. We all know this to be true. New cars drop thousands of dollars in value the moment they leave the dealer’s lot. They need constant maintenance and protection to operate correctly because of use, or because of accidents, or rust, or theft. Our homes are no better regardless of their age, quality of construction, or location. We are now such an advanced civilization that we have invented a new type of decay called obsolescence. We discarded working devices just because a new model is being offered. This year’s model is faster, more colorful, bigger, and more functional than last year’s model so we toss out the old model for the new. Money is no better. Change an interest or tax rate just a tad and huge changes in wealth occur. Whisper a rumor and the stock market goes crazy. Despite all our laws and regulations, theft of money and property continue to flourish causing billions of dollars of loss. There just is no safe way to store up treasure on earth.
Is there anything that can be done to combat the decay that our wealth undergoes? Again, Jesus teaches us in Matthew 6:19-21 that treasures stored in heaven do not suffer from decay. This is fantastic, there is a place to store up wealth where it will not decay or be stolen. How do we go about storing things in heaven? In Luke 12:33-34 and Matthew 19:21 Jesus tells us that one way is to sell our possessions and give to charity (the poor). This kind of giving is as an act of lovingkindness towards the poor and expects nothing in return. While we cannot take our treasure with us as we step into eternity, we can certainly send it before us by giving to charity. In fact, this is such an amazingly good investment that Jesus advises the rich young ruler to sell all that he has, give the proceeds to the poor, and come follow Him. If he will do that he will have treasure in heaven.
These truths make me wonder, “Is there some way for my boyhood silver dollar collection to be turned into a fantastic investment?” The answer is yes. If I take the coins, sell them, give the proceeds to charity, and follow Christ, then those seven coins can become an investment in heaven for eternity.
Whether it is seven small silver coins or all our wealth, giving generously, by people who follow Christ, builds an unfailing treasure in heaven, unlinks our heart from earthly things, and links our hearts to the eternal. Let’s be a generous people who follow Jesus’ teaching.
Matthew 6:19-21 (NASB) 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.
Image: By The original uploader was The Evil Spartan at English Wikipedia (Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons.) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons