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Weekly Wisdoms for the week of March 8, 2021

God wants your heart. Therefore, he demands your money.

Jesus gives us these simple instructions concerning money and possessions: "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal." (Matthew 6:19-20)

He commands us not to store up money here on Earth, but instead to invest that money into heaven—into the Kingdom of God. Why is it so important to put your money into the Kingdom? Jesus explains: "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" (Matthew 6:21).

It is impossible to overlook the importance of that verse. Wherever your treasure is, that determines where your heart will be. Your money leads; your heart follows. Knowing this, Jesus commands us to put our money into eternal things. Why? So that our heart will be into eternal things.

For example, say you invest money into a company's stock. Previously, you didn't really care about that company, and you didn't bother to read news articles about them. Now, however, you're scouring the newspaper for any articles that even remotely relate to that company, you check their stock price daily, and you religiously read their earnings reports. What caused such a change? Your money went into the company and with it your heart.

This principle—where your money goes, your heart follows—is illustrated very well in Mark 10:17-22, which records the story of a rich young man who came to Jesus asking how to be saved. He had done everything right and followed all the laws and commandments, but, according to Jesus, there was "one thing" he lacked: "Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." At this the man's face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.

The man had great wealth, but really his wealth had him—it owned and controlled him. Jesus wanted the man's heart, and so Jesus demanded his money. Jesus knew that the man could never follow Him if his heart was more attached to his possessions than to God.

The man's face fell, and he went away sad because his heart was too attached to his possessions. His money was invested in his own possessions, and therefore his heart was invested in his own possessions. However, Jesus wanted to break that bondage, so he commanded the man to give away all of his possessions to others. By giving his money to help the poor and the needy, Jesus knew that the man's heart would be transformed into serving others, and in so doing he would come identify with and follow Christ.

Do you want your heart to be full of love for others? Give to them, and bless them with your money. Then your heart will follow.

If you want a heart for God, invest your money in building the Kingdom of God. Then your heart will follow. If you want a heart for the poor and the needy of the world, use your money to fight global poverty and hunger. Then your heart will follow. If you want a heart for global missions, support missionaries in Africa, Asia, and the rest of the world. Then your heart will follow. Wherever your treasure is, that's where your heart will be.

A breakthrough requires a trial to break through.

It would be nice to simply wake up one day and suddenly be a mature Christian, but in order to grow up in God, we will have to go through trials. There is no other way to grow strong spiritually than to go through trials.

1 Peter 5:10 says, And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. You may not like trials, but this verse says that when you are going through trials after you have suffered a little while, you will grow to be firmly rooted and grounded (strong, firm and steadfast) in God.

Similarly, James 1:12 says, Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. Here again, you don't get the rewards (the crown of life) until you have persevered under trial and stood the test.

So, learn to be thankful in your trials, because in order to get your breakthrough, you need a trial to break through.

Therefore, don't be discouraged during times of suffering. Know that after you have suffered a little while, God himself will make you strong firm and steadfast.