Matthew 6:19-21 (NIV) Treasures in Heaven
19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Each of wants to think we will build something that lasts. What if you could build something that lives on even after you are gone from this world? And on a smaller scale, what if you could be a part of something bigger than yourself, which could continue to serve even after you are no longer working at the project. Such is our chance each day. When we do our work as if unto the Lord, He will bless it in a way that will bring fruit that lasts. In fact, it will bear fruit again and again. So what does it mean to store up treasures in heaven? How can we build treasures in heaven? By investing in people.
When you invest in people, you never fully know how far that fruit will blossom. Zig Ziglar tells a story about his high school coach named Jobe Harris who was a mentor to him. Jobe Harris was one of the young men who was mentored by the first Boy Scout official in the state of Mississippi, Thomas B. Abernathy. Mr. Abernathy was like a second father to Jobe teaching him all kinds of things that would benefit him and others for his entire life. These things would play a part in the lives of all the young men Jobe mentored. Jobe Harris taught Zig Ziglar many values that made him the man of God he became. But here is the twist. Mr. Abernathy never knew that what he poured into Jobe Harris would later be poured into Zig Ziglar who would go on to marry Jean Abernathy, Thomas’ youngest daughter, after Thomas had passed away. Mr. Abernathy had a direct effect on his own future grandchildren. You never know how far your investment will travel and who it will benefit. How will you invest?
When we go on a short term mission trip, do we go to change lives or do we go to make ourselves feel better? I don’t know about you but I am in the business of changing lives! Many times, we swoop in to a place and do a bunch of things “for the less fortunate” and then head back to our own lives without having made a lasting difference. Our thinking is earthly not considering why we want to help and what God wants us to do for others. If we paint a building, it is cleaner for a time. What if we paint God’s love on a heart? What if we provide an education so people can better themselves? What if we tell them about God and how much He loves them and His gift of grace? Why we do things is always more important than what we do. Don’t just give them a fish; teach them how to fish!
By participating in Hearts for Honduras school (or any worthwhile organization) in any way, you are building up treasures in heaven not only for yourselves but for others. I have heard that the town of La Entrada, Honduras itself has improved its culture because of the school. People are being educated and are learning to do better. They are learning about God’s love for them and who they are in Him. They are beginning to value themselves higher. As such, they are treating others better. The school is making a lasting difference on the whole community all because Paty Villanueva saw the opportunity to build treasures in heaven that will last. She invested in children and the cycle of improvement began. How can you be part of building the Kingdom? By building up people! Speak life into them. Give them hope! Of course, you have to solve the short term problems. You can’t teach kids about building their future when they are hungry now. Feed them! Then tell them about Jesus and His love for them. Tell them that Jesus called you to come to them and that He wants the best for them. It is not about material things. It is about love. Don’t go out to help people; go out to love them. There is a sign around the school that says “love wins.” It is true! 1 Corinthians 13 says “8 Love never fails. …..13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” Leave a legacy of love! Love them and teach them that God loves them and you will build up treasures in heaven.
Father, Thank You that You love us and want to help us build treasures in heaven. Help us to leave a legacy that brings glory to You. Thank You for teaching us to love one another as You have loved us. Teach us Your ways that we might know you better. Write your story on our hearts. In Your name we pray. Amen!