Back when my kids were younger, I was an incredible Monopoly player. And one night there was a particular game of Monopoly that just seemed to go my way. The dice were rolling for me...I was able to buy Boardwalk and Park Place...and I was collecting property left and right.
One by one, I ended up bankrupting each member of my family. And finally it was just me sitting in the kitchen all by myself with a box full of stuff on the table.
What's ironic about that night was that as great as it felt to win, I was the only one left to pick up the mess. That was my reward for winning...getting to put everything back in the box!
As I've thought about that particular game of Monopoly, I've been reminded that life is much the same way. Eventually, no matter how much we've accumulated, we can't take any of it with us. Everything goes back in the box!
I think that's one reason why Jesus said, "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).
What Jesus is saying in this passage is, "Don't spend your life accumulating stuff for yourself because you'll leave all of that stuff behind! Instead, devote your life investing in things that matter and in things that will last forever."
So how do you do this? How do you "lay up for yourself treasures in heaven" as Jesus talks about in Matthew 6? One way is by pursuing a vital relationship with Jesus Christ. Notice I didn't say make a decision or join the church. I said to pursue a vital, living relationship with Jesus Christ.
When you truly do this, you'll be amazed when you discover that Christ and only Christ will truly satisfy the emptiness of your soul. You'll discover that your identity and your security aren't in possessions, but in him. And you'll discover that life really isn't about what you make, what you do, or what you accumulate!
What life is about is knowing and doing the will of God-not in having a bigger house, caring about your next car, or profiting from your portfolio. The more you walk with Christ, the more you'll realize that he is the only thing that satisfies.
Jesus said in Matthew 6:24, "No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money."
So let me ask you, who are you serving today?
Possessions will perish and be gone forever. The world is going up in smoke. And one day Wall Street is going to finally collapse.
For the believer, the Scripture speaks of building a foundation on the Lord Jesus Christ...not on the stuff that will be up in smoke in the searing gaze of a holy God when we stand at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
So what is Jesus saying in the face of the current economic crisis? "Choose your master!"
Invest in things that are eternal and not earthly. Give your life to a mission and a vision that is beyond yourself by seeing clearly the call of God, and follow after him. Give your life in a vital relationship with Christ, and then give so that others may know him!