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Institute in Basic Life Principles

Command 13 : Lay Up Treasures | Day 85

Silence Three Witnesses!

When we are brought before the Judge of all the earth and He requires us to give an accounting of our stewardship, we want there to be as little evidence against us as possible. (See II Corinthians 5:10.) In the command for this week, Jesus warns us about moths, rust, and thieves, which will witness against us if we mismanage His resources.

Command Thirteen: “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also" (Matthew 6:19-21).

This command is based on the presupposition that all of our resources belong to God. We are stewards of His wealth, which has been entrusted to us for specific purposes. Therefore, we must give an account of how we invest each penny—yes, pennies! God counts pennies because He knows that if we are not faithful in that which is least, neither will we be faithful in much. (See Luke 16:10.)

The Lord expects us to make the wisest possible investments with the money He entrusts to us. One day a man walked up to his friend and said, "Did you know that you are a millionaire?" His friend looked surprised and said, "That is not possible, because I have been working at the same company for 35 years and my salary is $30,000 a year."

The man smiled and said, "That means that you have been given more than $1,000,000." His friend was stunned to realize how much money had actually passed through his hands. The man then asked, "What is the value of your assets?" His friend reluctantly admitted that he had no assets, but thousands of dollars of debt.

Moths, rust, and thieves will be evidence of our excessiveness, depreciating investments, and extravagance.

Moths lay their eggs in things we store, rust appears on things we neglect, and our extravagance stirs up the envy of thieves. Because finances are so vital to a man's honor before his family, I have spent much time giving counsel to men in this area. One indicator usually tells me whether or not I can help an individual: his purchase of a car. If a man insists on buying a luxurious new car, I know he does not understand the factors of depreciation and extravagance.

Let's make it our goal to invest as little as necessary in earthly possessions, so that as much as possible is available to invest in God's kingdom. Heaven is where God wants our heart's treasure to be.

“... Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven ... For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also ...” (Matthew 6:19-21).

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Contributing writer: Bill Gothard