My Treasure

My Treasure
February 12, 2022

“You cannot serve both God and money” Matthew 6:24

His dream had come true, Paul won the $202 million state lottery. He opted for the instant pay jackpot of $142.2 million. He was set for life. He promised himself he wouldn’t be like so many other winners who blew through their millions. Wise investments for him he told all is friends. He thought of himself as pretty cagy with investments and money management. After all, how could he blow through $142 million, even after about 24% in taxes?
Bright and early Monday morning, Paul was in his company’s Human Resources office, giving his two weeks notice. “Paul, do you realize there is a 20% early withdrawal penalty on your retirement package? It’s pretty hefty on yours because of your years of employment. You can leave it alone and let it earn interest until age 65.”
“Thanks, but I won’t be needing it anyway, I just won the $202 million lottery, Jane.”
“Wow. How much is that after early withdrawal and taxes?”
“Well, I actually take $106 million home. But that’s plenty for the rest of my life. I’m not going to just throw it all away, you know. Investments for me. I’ve always been pretty good with money.”
Two weeks later, to mark his retirement and lottery winnings, Paul invited 50 of his friends to a party at the Hilton hotel. Not wanting to be cheap, he hired a band with full catering. He wanted everyone to remember him. The cost was $2,450! He was not going to be like those other losers who threw their winnings away.
After their around-the-world tour, purchase of a $4 million house, $120,000 for two new cars, $80,000 for his new pickup, $135,000 for their splendid yacht, $785,000 for that cabin in the woods they had always dreamed of, Paul and his wife settled in for the perfect life of riches that was flowing their way.
One year later, Paul and his wife were parting ways. She left with her share of the winnings and things they’d bought. Paul was depressed and lonely now in spite of his money and stuff. Five years later, after several business investment failures and a cheating accountant, Paul had $185,000 in the bank and no future earnings. He was only 52-years-old.
The Bible warns us about depending on money, thinking it will bring satisfaction and happiness. It never will because true happiness comes from the joy of knowing the Lord. Worldly happiness is very elusive in this life. Using happiness as a bench mark for contentment will bring disappointment and sometimes, depression. Paul was jubilant when he saw his winning lottery numbers. But a few short years later he was discouraged and depressed.
Matthew 6:19-34 19 “Don’t store up treasures here on earth where they can erode away or may be stolen. 20 Store them in heaven where they will never lose their value and are safe from thieves. 21 If your profits are in heaven, your heart will be there too.
22 “If your eye is pure, there will be sunshine in your soul. 23 But if your eye is clouded with evil thoughts and desires, you are in deep spiritual darkness. And oh, how deep that darkness can be!
24 “You cannot serve two masters: God and money. For you will hate one and love the other, or else the other way around.
25 “So my counsel is: Don’t worry about things—food, drink, and clothes. For you already have life and a body—and they are far more important than what to eat and wear. 26 Look at the birds! They don’t worry about what to eat—they don’t need to sow or reap or store up food—for your heavenly Father feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than they are. 27 Will all your worries add a single moment to your life?
28 “And why worry about your clothes? Look at the field lilies! They don’t worry about theirs. 29 Yet King Solomon in all his glory was not clothed as beautifully as they. 30 And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and gone tomorrow, won’t he more surely care for you, O men of little faith?
31-32 “So don’t worry at all about having enough food and clothing. Why be like the heathen? For they take pride in all these things and are deeply concerned about them. But your heavenly Father already knows perfectly well that you need them, 33 and he will give them to you if you give him first place in your life and live as he wants you to.
34 “So don’t be anxious about tomorrow. God will take care of your tomorrow too. Live one day at a time.
Worry: Mark 4:18; Luke 10:41; Philippians 4:6; 1 Peter 5:7; Proverbs 12:25

The Power of Thought

October Sunrise in Oregon

“We take every thought captive” ~2 Corinthians 10:5

Since it’s original printing in 1937, Think and Grow Rich had sold more than 20 million copies at the time of author, Napoleon Hill’s death in 1970. This book still remains as one of the all-time best selling books. According to Hill, the germ of the idea behind his book was given to him by Andrew Carnegie, another well-known and wealthy businessman. 

Each chapter recounts stories of men who refused to give up once they established their goal. They fixed their minds upon that goal and worked through all difficulties and obstacles until they obtained their riches. Of course many such books have been written throughout the years but this one seems to be the master seller still, focusing on setting goals, visualizing what you want and never giving up. 

There is power in our thoughts and there is also destruction in them. Proverbs 23:4 says in words we should place on our computer monitors or bathroom mirrors:  “Don’t wear yourself out to get rich; stop giving attention to it. As soon as your eyes fly to it, it disappears, for it makes wings for itself and flies like an eagle to the sky.” HCSB 

Matthew 6:21  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. 

Surely as Christians, we’ve learned that the love of money is the root of all evil and therefore we have set money in its rightful place in our lives. A place of necessity to live and to share. And yet, if we are honest, each time we see a book such as Think and Grow Rich, a little twinge peeks above the horizon and suggests that if we did grow rich, think how many people we could help. Such thoughts are to be handled according to the following verse: 

2 Corinthians 10:4-5  We destroy false arguments; we pull down every proud obstacle that is raised against the knowledge of God; we take every thought captive and make it obey Christ. 

As it turns out, our thoughts are either focused on our Heavenly Father and His will and instructions for us discovered in the pages of the Bible or they are not! And if not, then on what? Will our thoughts please God and build up our relationship with Him? 

1 Corinthians 13:11  When I was a child, my speech, feelings, and thinking were all those of a child; now that I am an adult, I have no more use for childish ways. 

Romans 12:3  And because of God’s gracious gift to me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you should. Instead, be modest in your thinking, and judge yourself according to the amount of faith that God has given you. 

Ephesians 3:20-21  Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.   

Hebrews 4:12  For the word of God is living and effective and sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating as far as to divide soul, spirit, joints, and marrow; it is a judge of the ideas and thoughts of the heart. 

Philippians 4:7  And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 

The ability to think is a God-given gift and is accompanied by great power. Power for good and evil. Power to build up or tear down. The source of our thoughts decides which result will follow.