“If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities. ... No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money.” The Pharisees, who dearly loved their money, heard all this and scoffed at him. Then he said to them, “You like to appear righteous in public, but God knows your hearts. What this world honors is detestable in the sight of God.
(Luke 16:10-15, New Living Translation)
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
(Matthew 6:19-21, English Standard Version)
Today’s Reading: Luke 16
In this chapter, we read about Jesus teaching His disciples and the crowds. He told the parable of a poor man who lay in the dirt in front of the gate at a rich man’s house. He begged for food while dogs licked the sores on his body. When he died, angels carried him to Abraham’s side.
The rich owner who dressed in purple, a color worn by aristocracy, and ate opulent meals, also died. He was buried and went to Hades, a place of torment and anguish.
Though impoverished in this life, Lazarus was relieved of his suffering in eternity. The rich man, suffering in Hades, was cut off from any source of comfort and any chance to use his resources to help others. In this parable, Jesus presents another example of those who the world considers unlikely, as being the ones who inherit the kingdom of God, whereas those who appear to have everything, or seem religious, actually miss the gospel.
Jesus taught His followers that their actions in this life have an impact in eternity. Some would call this having an eternal perspective.
One mark of a true Christ-follower is generosity. When you respond to Jesus’ generous gift of salvation by being generous with others here on Earth, you not only aid those who need your help, you store up an eternal treasure that’s kept for you in heaven. Those who give understand that God is in charge of their lives. With a thankful heart, they cheerfully share what has been generously given to them.
Each of us can show generosity in three ways: with our time, talent and treasure. As you prepare for Christmas, how will you be generous? Consider sharing your time or talent with a neighbor who needs your help. Think about sharing your treasure with someone doing good work to help others.
What does “eternal perspective” mean? Explore more about how having an eternal perspective can change how you live.
Anne Marie Winz has followed Christ for the past 50 years. She’s married to Mark, has two adult children, and enjoys teaching, drinking coffee and birding. She’s also a staff member with Cru.
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