During the season of Lent, we learn a lot about giving and loving others. By sharing our worldly possessions and riches, we mimic the great gift that God gave us when He sacrificed His Son on our behalf. When we give up things for Lent, it can be easy to go through the motions because we feel like we have to, or we feel like it’s the right thing to do. Every once in a while, it’s a good idea to reset our focus.
Imagine that you really like toy cars. You have one, and it’s one of your favorite toys, but you really want a shiny red car that you saw in the store. You save and save your money and finally, you are able to go buy that new car. Life is great! You have two really awesome cars you can race and show off. Now imagine that your best friend comes to play, and he sees your toys. They say, “man it would be really nice if I had a car. You’re lucky you have two!” I think most of us would give our friend one of the cars. After all, it’s much more fun if we each have a car to play with.
When we become Christians, we become part of a universal family, all tied together through Jesus Christ. Christians are called to love and care for one another. Sometimes we receive this love and sometimes we give this love. Just like the example of the toy cars, when we share our earthly riches and blessings with others, we are answering God’s call to be rich in good works. Giving what we can is a form of caring for and loving others, and Christians should be the most excited to do this! We are to support each other in doing good deeds for the purpose of God’s kingdom. In doing so, God tells us that we are storing up riches in heaven.
“Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.”
- 1 Timothy 6:17-19 (NASB)
God does not promise His children that they will always have an easy life, but He does promise that they will have an abundant one. God has blessed us all in unique ways. Some people have a lot of toys, some people have a lot of books, and some people have nice cars or big houses. When we don’t have a lot, it’s easy to be envious of other people. When we do have a lot, it’s easy to want to hold on to what we have. When we do this, we start valuing possessions over our relationship with God. If instead, we fix our focus on God, our earthly possessions are not as important to us anymore. We can “take hold of that which is life,” like the Bible tells us in 1 Timothy and not be constrained to this world. We can put our hope in God’s riches that He stores up in heaven.
How comforting it is to know that God has an abundance of blessings and riches to bestow upon us in heaven! It’s good to recognize the blessings we have now, too. These can include family, friends, teachers, camp, pets, sports, and so much more. This week, focus on storing up your riches in heaven, rather than your riches on Earth. Take time to pray and thank God for your unique blessings, and ask Him to show you the ways in which you can be generous and ready to share.