I am so glad that God recently connected me to Carmen Lowery, a young mom in our church. I was overjoyed to find that while others were shopping, eating, and relaxing over the Christmas holiday, she took her boys on a mission trip to Guatemala. The Bible instructs parents to, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it (Proverbs 22:6).” I firmly believe that the best thing we can do for our children is live the gospel in front of them and encourage their participation in ministry (not just church activities) in a practical way. We should fully engage our children in the gospel. Let us share in Carmen’s story:
Nothing pleases God more than when we actually become doers of His Word and not hearers only, especially when it comes to our children. So when our family was asked to join a mission team to work at a Christian children’s home in Guatemala, we knew God was clearly opening a door for us to show our children how to love others in word and deed. One of the prayers I have for my for boys is Colossians 1:9 -10…that God would fill them “with the knowledge of His will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding” so that they may “live a life worthy of the Lord, pleasing Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God…” One quality I want to instill in them more than anything is giving because it is a natural response to knowing Christ which allows others to see Him in us. We want our children to become generous givers so others will see Christ in them!
Treasure Principle # 2: My heart always goes where I put God’s money.
I thought about starting this post with a nice little story. When I re-read this chapter, however, one sentence in particular stopped me in my tracks. “By telling us that our hearts follow our treasure, Jesus is saying, ‘Show me your checkbook, your VISA statement, and your receipts, and I’ll show you where your heart is.’ (pg 42)” That’s it! The statement is so simple, yet so profound. The way we spend money reveals our interests, what we value, and where we place our stock.
Treasure Principle Key #1: God owns everything. I’m His money manager.
As a freshman in college, we received a monthly stipend of $50. Thankfully they provided us with food, clothing, and shelter. We were not allowed to own anything (or at least maintain anything) aside from the items required to focus on the mission of the institution. Living in this manner relieved many responsibilities and burdens for the students. At the same time, I was growing as a young Christian. I began to give unto God (specifically to the church) $5 or ten percent of my $50 income. Many people refer to this tenth as a tithe (that’s another discussion for another day), but I have considered 10% Giving a starting point to show gratitude for the great and loving God who has given me so very much. I was always excited to give and when I began to earn more money, it was easier to give a minimum of 10% consistently because I gladly developed the discipline of giving with the small amount of $5 at the tender age of nineteen. I’m thankful to openly share God’s blessings with others.