Treasure and Heart

raceWhere your treasure is, that’s where your heart will be too. – Matthew 6:21

My wife, Nancy, and I just completed the Twin Cities 10 Miler, a beautiful run through Minneapolis and St. Paul along the Mississippi River and historic Summit Avenue. We trained hard for the event, thoroughly enjoyed it, and came home with a medal.

In his letter to the Corinthians St. Paul says that athletes train hard to win a medal that tarnishes, but followers of Jesus are training for the race of faith, a life that endures (1 Corinthians 9:24-27).

When it comes to training for a road race, heart health matters. I would suggest that the same holds true as we train for the race of faith. And in my experience few things train our heart for the race of faith like generosity. Jesus once said, “Where your treasure is, that’s where you heart will be too.” I want my heart to be invested into the work of God’s Kingdom in the world, and that means investing my treasure there as well.

Generous giving recognizes God’s ownership of all things, and our stewardship of those things that have been entrusted to us.

Generous giving loosens the grip of consumerism and deepens our trust in the “enoughness” of God.

Generous giving opens doors for mission and ministry that connects people to the love of God revealed in Jesus.

And generous giving shapes our hearts more and more into the likeness of God’s heart. God so loved, and so God gave (John 3:16). God’s love compels us to give, and our giving shapes our hearts for greater love. That’s been my experience. For years now Nancy and I have sought to give at least 10% of our income to our local church and other worthy causes in God’s world. It’s a decision we’ve never regretted. It’s an act of loving obedience that has blessed our lives in so many ways.

Our congregation, like many others, is inviting members to pray about their financial support of God’s work. And so I challenge you to reflect on this question:  If your heart is where your treasure is, where exactly is your heart today?

I’m proud of the medal I got for running, but it’s nothing compared to a heart shaped for God’s work in the world.

Are you part of the Prince of Peace community? You’ll find more information here.

Jeff Marian serves as lead pastor at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Burnsville, MN

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