Each time there is an act of mercy towards a fellow human from our side, it results in a deposit in our account in heaven and each time we deny mercy to a fellow human it results in a withdrawal and decrease of net worth of our account in heaven. Eventually, on the day of reckoning when Jesus takes stock of our account, if it runs into a negative balance, we run the risk of losing our place in heaven.
In Matthew 6: 19 –21, Jesus says – “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”.
Is it wrong to be rich?
Why does Jesus say in Matthew 19: 23, “truly I tell you, it will be hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven”? Is it because being rich is a sin or a crime? Definitely not, Jesus is not averse to a person being rich but what concerns him is our attitude towards money and possessions. Abraham and Job two of the most righteous men that we come across in the Bible were blessed with an abundance of wealth and possessions. Despite being very rich they placed their life firmly in God and gave him priority over every other person or possession in their lives.
Jesus wants us to be selfless in our use of wealth and possessions. At the end of the parable of the rich fool in Luke 12: 21, Jesus tells us what the right attitude towards wealth is – “So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich towards God.”
How does one become rich towards God?
(1) By being selfless and
(2) By investing in the Lord’s real estate (his most cherished properties) – the meek, strangers and foes.
Acts of mercy
On the day of reckoning what do we want Jesus to be – a Judge or a Savior?
The parable of the wicked servant in Matthew chapter 18 verses 23-35 highlights the difference in the approach of a Savior and that of a Judge. While the Judge goes strictly by the law a Savior is always merciful. Verses 32-34 tell us how the Savior becomes a Judge. “Then his Lord summoned him and said to him, you wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you besought me; and should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you? And in anger his Lord delivered him to the jailers, till he should pay all his debt”.
What should we then do to have Jesus as our Savior? Live Matthew chapter 25 verses 35, 36. “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me”.
– – – written by L.A. Lajan Miranda