“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, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Luke 12:33-34

Do you have a jar or jug or box at home where you throw your lose change? How often do you put money in it? I know some people who, at the end of each day, take all of the change from their pockets put it away in something. It may not be a lot of money, but when you add to it every day, it is amazing how quickly it builds up.

Recently, Linda and I had three of our great-grand daughters’ stay with us a few days. I have a wooden box where I through my loose change. One day I let them reach both hands into this box and get as much money out as they could. Then we went to Wal-Mart. Yes, we had fun!

Whether we use a piggy bank or a savings account at the bank, it is a good idea to have a plan to save money for unexpected emergencies or when we want to do something special. One thing we have to be careful of is that the treasure that we are building doesn't become the most important thing in our life. Jesus warned about that in teaching his followers about money. He told them that they should not worry so much about building up treasures on earth, but that they should concentrate on building up treasures in heaven.

When we live sacrificially for Jesus’ sake or serve Him by serving others, we store up treasure in heaven. Even seemingly small acts of service do not go unnoticed by God. “If anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward” (Matthew 10:42).

Treasures in heaven? How do we build up treasures in heaven? Jesus taught that one way to build up treasures in heaven is to give money to the poor. I think we build up treasure in heaven when we do things to help others. Things like:

* Visiting the sick

* Helping to feed the hungry

* Being cheerful and thoughtful to someone who is sad

* Praying for one another

* Working in a shelter for the homeless at FreedomWay

* Volunteer at Cleburne County Cares

* Volunteer at our hospital

* Being a friend to someone who is lonely

* Forgiving someone who has hurt you

* Saying you're sorry when you hurt someone

* And I am sure you can think of other ways to “lay up treasure in Heaven.”

“God does not comfort us to make us comfortable … but to make us comforters.”  Jesus said, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21

The rich young man (Matthew 19:16–30) loved his money more than God, a fact that Jesus directly pointed out. The issue wasn’t that the young man was rich but that he “treasured” his riches and did not “treasure” what he could have in Christ. Jesus told the man to sell his possessions and give to the poor, “and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me” (verse 21). The young man left Jesus sad, because he was very rich. He chose this world’s treasure and so did not lay up treasure in heaven. He was unwilling to make Jesus his treasure. The young man was very religious, but Jesus exposed his heart of greed.

What we do for Jesus while here on earth will be stored up as "treasures in heaven" about which Jesus spoke. They may not seem like much, but if we do something for someone each and every day, it is amazing how our Heavenly treasure will add up.

Will you pray this prayer? “Father, we may never have much in the way of earthly treasure, but help us to be faithful each day in building up treasures in heaven. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.”

Lloyd Blanton is CEO and Director of FreedomWay Ministries, a faith-based service, in Cleburne County