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Treasury Notes in Heaven

To make investments that will last forever, value what God values.

Introduction

Our son-in-law, Keith, works on the trading floor of the commodities market exchange in Chicago. I've been there to watch him. You stand in a room with glass windows on the second floor, and you look down on the trading floor. There are 150 traders in a pit. There are about six different pits, and they're all yelling and making signs at each other. One sign means "sell at 12" and another means "buy at 13." Those traders are yelling across the pit, and they nod when they make a transaction. Millions of dollars' worth of transactions happen in a given pit on any given day.

Those traders are representing people from around the world who are investing in next March's corn. Futures on corn, it's called. And they gamble on whether corn is going to be at 36 next March. They bid 22, and if it sells at 36, they've made a profit. If they bought it at 38 and it sells at 36 next March, they've got a loss. You may think of these investments in terms of the appreciation on your house—that it's risen a little bit since you bought it.

Do not lay up your treasures on Earth.

In Matthew 6:19-21, our Lord speaks of investments. He begins by saying, "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth." It's important for us to see the Scripture's context to know what he's talking about.

At the beginning of the chapter, in verse 1, Jesus says: "Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do."

You're not going to believe this, but they would do that! They would play a trumpet and announce their giving so others would see it. But Jesus said you should give ...

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Knute Larson is an author and speaker. He served as pastor of The Chapel in Akron, Ohio, and he is author of The Great Human Race (Chapel Press).

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Sermon Outline:

Introduction

  • Illustration: Traders invest in the future value of agricultural commodities.

Do not lay up your treasures on Earth.

  • Jesus warned against doing good deeds for the treasure of public approval.
  • Illustration: A pastor quietly contributes contents of his money jar to the church staff's coin-offering basket.
  • The treasures we store on Earth are subject to decay.

There are four types of treasures in heaven.

  • People treasures consist of the people who are in heaven because of your direct assistance.
  • Good works treasures consist of God's approval for good deeds done on Earth.
  • The people who have been helped by good works you sent along on Earth will greet you in heaven.
  • Heaven itself is a final and rich reward.

Having the values of Christ helps us know where the real reward lies.

  • The things we see are temporary, while the things we don't see are eternal.
  • o Illustration: Football helmet decals and Sunday school attendance pins represent outward rewards for good deeds.
  • Illustration: While windsurfing, walking, or bicycling, we rely on landmarks to help us navigate our way.
  • Valuing what belongs to God helps us set our treasures on things above.

Having the values of Christ motivates us to freely give.

  • God does not tell us what to give. We must choose it ourselves.
  • Freewill offerings aligned with God's values enrich the church and its people.
  • This kind of freewill giving is how we store treasures in heaven.