In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal,” Matthew 6:20. This investment strategy is repeated as Jesus said, “Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near, and no moth destroys,” Luke 12:33. His advice is not given for God’s benefit, but for the benefit of the investor. Jesus tells his followers to keep their treasures super safe.
Wisdom With Wealth News
How accessible is “treasure in heaven?” Must we die to enjoy our pie in the sky? The answer is a resounding NO! It is downright discouraging to have wealth super safe, yet totally illiquid and inaccessible. The description “in heaven” can be misleading. It’s not about the location (heaven), it’s about the custodian—God. Jesus is directing us to a safe investment, not a faraway investment.
God’s investment house has more branches and outlets than all banks and investment firms combined. It’s available to us both now and in the unending future. Wise generosity will result in benefits before physical death. Notice that Jesus speaks of a bountiful reward for generosity: He said, “Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over,” Luke 6:38. Consider the emphasized words, phrase by phrase.
- (1) They: We don’t know who “they” are. They might be angels, but note that the word is “they” rather than “he.” The use of a plural subject describes more than one source of repayment. The point is this: Generosity has a multiplier effect. Generosity invokes more generosity.
- (2) will pour: The word “will” implies certainty. Jesus did not say “might” or “could,” but “will.” It’s a promise. The word “pour” implies a rapid flow as opposed to a dribble.
- (3) into your lap: This shows that you don’t need to go get the repayment. It will come to where you are comfortably seated. In other words, the repayment will find you; you don’t need to search for it!
- (4) a good measure: This means the quantity is not meagre or eroded by fees, but a “good” measure, meaning something like a baker’s dozen, which consists of 13, not just 12 items.
- (5) pressed down: This means that there are no air pockets, no false appearances, no empty spaces.
- (6) shaken together: This refers to a second step to ensure that the recompense is full and complete.
- and (7) running over: Despite it being pressed down and shaken together (compacted), the return gift is over and above previous capacities!
Wow! Look at all seven aspects of abundance. The amount coming back is much greater than the amount going out. Jesus said, “It is more (emphasis added) blessed to give than to receive,” Acts 20:35. How much more blessed is it to give than to receive? We don’t know. But Jesus can be trusted to make it more.
The investor must give by faith. It’s not a faith in “faith,” but a faith in God—that God will see and respond. “Without faith it is impossible to please God,” Hebrews 11:6. When we give generously by faith, we don’t know how and when God will “repay,” but He certainly will. God’s blessing is a promised reward for faith-based obedience. A “payback” is real and assured, but the specific form/quantity/media are not predictable. The blessings for faith-based obedience can take an endless number of expressions—even beyond our comprehension.
A physical resurrection will certainly shock those who have been cremated. Cremation is financially cheaper than a burial, and takes up less space than a grave or tomb, but make no mistake: God has ordained a bodily resurrection for everyone. Physical reconstruction of a human body is not hard for God; it’s just a matter of reassembling molecules. Even while living, the atoms and molecules in our bodies are replaced about every seven years. The DNA blueprint stays the same, just the molecules change.
It’s important to save. Saving isn’t easy—especially not in our consumption-driven culture. Debt reduction is usually the most important and difficult step in saving, but it’s essential for financial freedom. Saving allows us to set aside some current income for future enjoyment. This future enjoyment can be short or long, and—believe it or not—can even be unending. In our “Registered Resurrection Account” series we’ll introduce a super-long-term, permanent savings account. Capital accumulation at its very best!
Most people save for their retirement, and retirement planning is a big business. Governments promote retirement savings to reduce pressure from seniors on the public purse. In Canada we have the RRSP (Registered Retirement Savings Plan) and TFSA (Tax Free Savings Account). In the States, Americans use their 401k or a Roth IRA. But is standard retirement planning the best way to save for the future? I don’t think so.
Don't misunderstand; I’m not saying that regular retirement savings is wrong, just that there’s something better in addition to traditional retirement saving—something longer-lasting and not tied to financial markets or taxation system. I recommend that it precede—not replace—retirement saving. It's better, but it’s not new, just forgotten.
Jesus Christ spoke of it many years ago. He recommended a savings account with an ultra, long-term perspective: A million years and beyond! It’s enduring, super safe, and tax proof. I like to call it the Registered Resurrection Account (RRA). Jesus said,
When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends, or your brothers, or your relatives, or rich neighbors, otherwise they may also invite you in return and that will be your repayment. But when you give a reception, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, since they do not have the means to repay you; for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous. [emphasis added] Luke 14:12-14.
Amazing! But what if you don’t believe in a resurrection? What if there is nothing beyond the grave? What if this life is all there is? Well, then Jesus Christ was terribly mistaken. Was He wrong? I doubt it. I’m biased, but I defer to His wisdom—especially on matters concerning life and death. He said, “An hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His [God’s] voice and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment,” John 5:28-29. When Jesus says all, He means ALL. Everyone will come out of their graves, whether they believe or not. The Law of Gravity doesn’t require faith to operate when it makes things fall. Faith or its absence never established a law.
(All Bible citations are from the New American Standard Bible - NASB translation unless otherwise indicated.)