Monday, October 09, 2006

Additional thoughts on treasure in heaven

The Message puts it this way: Tell those rich in this world's wealth to quit being so full of themselves and so obsessed with money, which is here today and gone tomorrow. Tell them to go after God, who piles on all the riches we could ever manage—to do good, to be rich in helping others, to be extravagantly generous. If they do that, they'll build a treasury that will last, gaining life that is truly life. (1 Tim 6:17-19)

It echoes the parable of the talents (TM). I'm thinking that this is a model of how to lay up treasure in heaven. You take what is a big deal to you, in this case rich people and their money, and you turn that thing upside down – give it away, don't depend on it.

And notice, there are some rich people who aren't caught up in their money, but that doesn't let you off: it's still your big responsibility; it's still the area where you've really been gifted. You can't simply walk away from this stuff and say, "It's not important to me." You have to somehow turn it back over to God.

This seriously echoes what David said about giving things to God. (1 Chr 29:14) It echoes the parable of the talents. The master gives each person a number of talents. When he returns, the scope of the inquiry is very narrow: exactly what he had given them, and nothing else.

Give an accounting of what you did with the talents given you. All else is beside the point. Could it be that this is a key to laying up treasure in heaven? Sometimes it would seem that the conventional wisdom about heavenly treasure is generic. Generic in that you put money toward it somehow; it's an investment in some way. It doesn't seem to matter what it is, just pick a heavenly investment vehicle and . . . invest. Any coin will do.

But not any coin will do. The only coin the Lord is interested in receiving seems to be the self-same coin that He gave. Pay Caesar in Caesar's coin.

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