Here’s an irony. We study for a dozen-plus years, thousands of days, and tens of thousand of hours to prepare for our careers, and what does HR talk about when we show up eager to put our skills to work? Saving for retirement!! So we voluntarily invest in something called a 401k and involuntarily pay into something called social security—both to prepare for something called retirement, which will occur in another 40-something years! That’s life in America.
We’re wise to prepare financially for when the paychecks stop flowing. But the golden years don’t last all that long, and there awaits “the other side,” an eternal Kingdom where dollars don’t spend. How do we plan for that? How do we “lay up treasures . . . as a firm foundation for the coming age,” as the apostle Paul put it?
Certainly Paul was not suggesting we try to earn our way into heaven by way of our own goodness; that’s an impossibility. Instead, I think when people care for the needs of others, give freely of their means, and share with them the good news of salvation in Christ, God is glorified—His purposes are accomplished, His people live in unity, and He is pleased. For those who cried out for God find Him through those who serve in His name. Those who knew no hope now dare to. Those who prayed in desperation find their answers through inspired hearts and human hands. God is loved, and people are, too. And we’re all the richer for it. That’s life in the Kingdom.
God, strengthen me to do what you call me to do today, so that your Kingdom is advanced and your purposes fulfilled. Help me give and love from my heart and through my words and actions. I ask this in the name of Jesus, my Lord. Amen.
Command those who are rich in this world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way, they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life. 1 Timothy 6:17-19