“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven where moth and rust do not destroy and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” - Matthew 6:19-21
Perhaps you are well-familiar with the shocking image of Jesus making a whip and driving out the money-changers from the House of the Lord, calling them the inhabitants of a “den of thieves” (Matt. 21:13). We are used to Jesus as meek and mild, so a whip-yielding Christ jars us powerfully. But with that image well in place, now I’d like to jar you again with another image: that of a group of holy money-changers in the House of the Lord.
In Jesus’ day, money-changers were necessary because there was no unified system of currency in the area of Palestine. There were coins of various denominations and originations, and there needed to be an equitable system of exchange so that foreigners could come to the temple and offer gifts to the Lord. Exodus 30:13 mentions a “sanctuary shekel” which was acceptable for the use of pilgrims offering gifts to the Lord God. Certainly, a fair exchange was needed simply because of the principle that foreign currency could not be used without exchange. Jesus did not object to the exchange, but to the criminal activity of those who charged exorbitant and unjust fees for the exchange, thus storing up for themselves astounding treasures of earthly wealth at the expense of pilgrims who had come to sacrifice to the Lord.
This principle of money exchange is well-understood by any who have had the opportunity to travel to a foreign land. American dollars are no good in the bazaars of Palestine or in the Shibuya shopping district of Tokyo, any more than dinars or yen would be acceptable at your local Wal-Mart. Now, any who are Christians must know that we are preparing for a trip to another land, called a “better country—a heavenly one” (Heb. 11:16), and your material currency will not be accepted there. YOU MUST EXCHANGE IT, or you will lose it! Death will strip you clean of all your dollars and all that your dollars bought…but you are able to exchange them here and now so that they will be waiting for you when you arrive in your eternal home.
"CONVERT YOUR RESOURCES, and they will await you."
Today I challenge the Church to become “holy money-changers in the House of the Lord”! Convert your dollars to eternal treasures stored up in heaven by using them to build Christ’s Kingdom. This goes beyond mere money…any hour of service is an hour converted to eternal treasure. But it includes money…a dollar held tightly is a dollar lost eternally. A dollar spent to advance Christ’s kingdom is a treasure you will find waiting for you in heaven. CONVERT YOUR RESOURCES, and they will await you. Your money is no good in heaven, but your sacrifices now are acceptable eternally. Set up your money-changing table in God’s house and convert these temporary things to that which can never wear out, and do it moment by moment to the praise of God.