Tuesday, April 23 2024 - 10:39 AM

Sharing Scripture — February 11, 2023

Laying Up Treasure in Heaven

 

For use: February 5 – 11, 2023
Texts: Genesis 6:5-14; 13:10-12; 32:22-31; Hebrews 11:8-13, 24-29; 2 Corinthians 4:18

 

How much faith does it take to invest in an invisible asset, such as cryptocurrency? Marketing researcher Max Alberhasky examined the psychology behind the attraction of this digital asset. He discovered four reasons why some people trust cryptocurrency.

One proponent is that it’s extremely volatile. Though that sounds like a turn-off to many of us, it’s an enticement to risk takers. “If you buy $100 worth of bitcoin at breakfast,” reports Alberhasky, “it can become worth $1,000 by lunch and worth $10 by dinner.” It’s the same attraction that lures gamblers to casinos.

The second attraction is that, if it does pay off, investors can get rich much more quickly than typical, low-risk investments.

Because it involves highly complex technological advancement, it is attractive to visionaries looking for the next new thing. Those who love technology are thrilled to be involved in this cutting-edge innovation. It also creates a strong sense of FOMO—the fear of missing out—in some investors.

And finally, just like with the lottery and magazine sweepstakes, there is the draw that comes from hearing success stories. “These stories are extremely powerful from a psychological perspective,” found Alberhasky, “causing us to think, ‘if they could become a millionaire by buying some silly digital coin, why can’t I?’”

Heaven is also invisible to us. How much faith does it take for us to follow Jesus’ advice to lay up our treasures in that unseen land?

Investments such as Bitcoin follow the adage, “high risk, high reward.” Jesus promises us, however, that investing in heaven is low risk (since Jesus paid it all), and yet it’s high reward. Jesus stated in Matthew 6:19-21 that investments here on Earth are subject to decay and theft, but investments in heaven are safe from deterioration and larceny. And eternal life in heaven is, by far, the greatest reward.

Abram is an example of one who laid up his treasures in heaven. He enjoyed a pretty good life by this world’s standards before God called him to pack up his household and move to a foreign land. Leaving everything he knew behind, he followed God’s call to invest his entire existence in a new life that he hadn’t yet experienced. Even though he never fully received the promise of a new country that he could call his own, by faith he looked higher, anticipating a city built by God’s own hands (Hebrews 11:10).

We have never seen even a glimpse of heaven, but we know by faith that the reward is grander than anything else we can invest in (1 Corinthians 2:9). The riches are immediate, as we can know right now that we have eternal life (1 John 5:13). And there is no reason to experience FOMO, because the promise of John 3:16 is that God loves us so much that anyone who believes in the Son of God will not ultimately die, but will inherit the heaven where we lay up our treasures today.

 

For Reflection

 

Connecting: Who do you trust for investment advice? Why is this person or company trustworthy to you?

Sharing: Lot made an investment decision in Genesis 13:10-12 that ultimately cost him his home, his businesses, and the life of his wife. What went wrong?

  1. Lot didn’t look at the long game—he could only see the short-term rewards of moving to Sodom
  2. He chose the tangible things that he could see, rather than step out in faith with God
  3. Lot did what he felt was the best for his family and workers; sometimes things just don’t work out, no matter how well we plan for the future
  4. Lot was blinded by the excitement of the bright city lights
  5. Lot was selfish, plain and simple
  6. Other:

Applying: Get together with a few friends and discuss the question, “What does it mean to you personally to lay up treasures in heaven?” What are the treasures that God is calling each of you individually to invest? What challenges do you face in letting go of earthly treasures for God?

Valuing: Put yourself in Abram’s place and imagine that God called you to leave your job and home, pack up your car, and just drive until God said “stop.” Prayerfully reflect on the roadblocks you would anticipate in following God’s call. How would you overcome those trials?

 

~ Chuck Burkeen

 

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