Scripture Reading — Matthew 6:19-21
"Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6:21 —
During World War II my grandfather Ivan, still a teenager, served in the Red Army as a machine gun operator. The battles on the Russian front were dreadfully bloody. Thousands were killed daily.
It was illegal to steal from the bodies of dead enemy soldiers, but rules are often broken during war. My grandfather's friend Rustam gathered a sizable collection of German watches. He would often lovingly inspect his collection. My grandfather pleaded with Rustam, "Stop taking those watches off the dead Germans! It's bad. Besides, we might get killed at any moment. What will you need your collection for then?" In a battle in Poland my grandfather was badly wounded and his friend Rustam was killed. My grandfather never learned what happened to Rustam's watches.
Our world is different today. But people still have an unstoppable desire for possessions. They're willing to break rules and compromise their conscience to get rich.
Jesus puts wealth into perspective: "What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?" (Mark 8:36). We know we can't take our earthly treasures with us when we die. So why risk eternity? Jesus advises us to collect heavenly treasures by serving God and our neighbors. This is the surest investment: our account in heaven is insured by God himself.
Our Father, help us to be good stewards of our earthly possessions. Guard our souls against greed, and give us wisdom as we gather treasures in heaven. Amen.