In Your Bible Read This Out Loud: Matthew 6:20
Memorise This Verse: Philippians 4:17 ‘Not that I am looking for a gift, but I am looking for what may be credited to your account’
Afterwards Talk About This: What do you think is the purse that doesn’t wear out that Jesus refers to in Luke 12:33
Something To Do Before Next Time: In prayer, go to your heavenly Father and open your heavenly bank account.
Written Diploma Work: When Jesus speaks of storing up treasure in heaven (Matthew 6:20), write one side on how do we go about it.
Meditate Word By Word On This Verse: Acts 10:4
In the parable of the rich fool of Luke 12:16-21, Jesus speaks about money and greed and the need to be rich towards God, but what does this term ‘Rich before God’ speak of? Moreover, he goes on to speak in verse 33 of providing for ourselves purses that will not wear out so what could he be referring to in these ideas? Well, just as we can pay into an earthly bank account and we have seen previously that we should be doing so, the bible in several place speaks of a heavenly bank account which we can also pay into. As this truth becomes a reality to us it can make giving an exciting and joyful thing to do as we catch a vision of this we will no longer put our tithe into the offering plate in the same old mechanical manner but we will view it as an investment into our account whereby we become rich towards God. As this truth unfolds to us may we commit to spending our lives investing in this heavenly account.
Perhaps the best biblical reference to this heavenly account is found in Philippians 4:16 ‘For even when I was Thessalonica, you sent me aid again and again when I was in need. Not that I am looking for a gift, but I am looking for what may be credited to your account’. Here, Paul was commending the Philippian church for financially supporting his ministry and he reveals that not only did the gifts supply his needs, but they were recorded and seen by God and credited to their heavenly account. It would appear then that every time we give financially every last penny we give is noted by God and a record is kept in the mind of God of what each one of us has given.
A further point to recognise about this account is that just like an earthly bank account, the money we have deposited into it can be withdrawn and it will have interest on it as well. Instead of us making a withdrawal it would appear that God will release the money to us in his own time and his own way. For example, after speaking about their account and their faithful giving, Paul concludes in verse 19 by saying, ‘And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus’. This fact of a heavenly account should be a great comfort and encouragement to all of us who have been regular givers every penny has been recorded and the Lord of heaven and earth is the trustee of our account and we can trust him to handle our account for our benefit.
The bible speaks of laying up treasure in heaven as the following verses show which brings out the same thought about a heavenly account and the verse from 1 Timothy 6:19 brings across a further thought. When we give into the work of God not only do we get the benefit in this life of having it credited to our earthly account but there are also benefits which we will experience in the life to come. When we stand before the judgement seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10) we will certainly be judged in the way we have handled our money and will it not be the case that contributions to our heavenly bank account will be judged as well? The bible speaks of heavenly rewards and 1 Timothy 6:19 would reveal that one of the basis of distributing those rewards is our record and account of our giving, if you died tonight what would God say about your heavenly account?
Matthew 6:20 ‘But store up for yourselves treasure 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.’
Luke 12:33 ‘Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted.’
1 Timothy 6:19 ‘….Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life’
The scripture would seem to indicate that even non-Christians have an account with God and every last penny of their financial dealings is monitored by God consider the story of Cornelius in Acts 10:1-8. Verse 2 shows that Cornelius gave regularly to the poor before his conversion (remember that until he met Peter he was an unsaved person) and verse 4 shows that when the angel visits Cornelius, mention is made of Cornelius’ heavenly account, ‘ Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God’. It should be of great encouragement to those of us who have been systematically giving for many years that if God watches over the heavenly account of even unsaved people such as Cornelius how much more does he watch over the heavenly account of his children.
Finally, set out below are two similar scriptures which both speak of storing up credits in our heavenly account yet they draw a contrast between the giver and the non-giver. The first scripture is spoken against people who were spending all their money on themselves and were giving nothing to the work of God it comes from the book of Haggai where the Lord issues a rebuke to his people for neglecting to invest their money into the rebuilding of the temple. The second scripture is the words Jesus spoke to his disciples – here we see a word of exhortation to be givers and the assurance that as we give to the poor we will provides ourselves with a heavenly purse that will not wear out. Which of the two purses spoken of below do you want? if you are neglecting to give to the work of God you will have an earthly purse that will wear out, if you are a giver you will have a heavenly purse that will not wear out
Haggai 1:6 ‘You earn wages only to put them in a purse with holes in’
Luke 12:33 ‘Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted’.
A House of Prayer for the Poorer Nations
Pray for Honduras
6,485,445 people, Catholic majority
Devastated by hurricane Mitch in 1998, church needs to lead the healing process.
This study contains the personal beliefs and practices of of the author who recommends them to the reader. The author takes no credit for their success where applied and likewise takes no responsibility for any failure or disappointment.
The House of Prayer for the Poorer Nations at the end of each section is based on Operation World 21st Century Edition © Patrick Johnstone, Jason Mandryk. Published by Paternoster. All scriptures are NIV © Hodder & Stoughton.