John Wesley on Prayer Lesson 52

*All My Goods, All My Heart

Do all to the glory of God.

1 Corinthians 10:31 NASB

Laying up treasures on earth is as flatly forbidden by our Lord as murder or adultery. By doing so, you are laying up “wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteousness judgments of God.”

But suppose it were not forbidden? Can you, on principle of reason, spend your money in a way which God may possibly forgive, instead of spending it in a manner which he will certainly reward? You will have no reward in heaven for what you lay up; you will for what you lay out. Every dollar you put into the earthly bank is sunk; it brings no interest above. But every dollar you give to the poor is put into the bank of heaven. And it will bring glorious interest, accumulating to all eternity.

Who then is the wise one, endued with knowledge, among you? Let that one resolve this day, this hour, this moment, the Lord assisting him, to choose in all particulars the “more excellent way.” And let him or her steadily keep that resolve with regard to sleep, prayer, work, food, conversation, and diversions, but particularly with regard to the employment of that important talent, money. Let your heart answer to the call of God, “From this moment, God being my helper, I will lay up no more treasure upon earth. I will lay up treasure in heaven. I will give to God the things that are His: all my goods and all my heart.”

*From How to Pray: The Best of John Wesley on Prayer, published by Barbour Publishing, Inc. Used by permission.

In this fifty-second lesson on prayer, Wesley gives an exhortation regarding the stewardship of our earthly goods. Wesley practiced what he preached; keeping for himself just enough to live on and distributing the rest to the work of God. And in regard to this, can we not see worrisome fear as the culprit behind our need to lay up rather than lay out?

Beside the example of Jesus’ generosity throughout the Gospels, we have the words of Jesus in Matthew 6:19-34, concerning our own insecurities:

 19” Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20“But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; 21for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. 22” The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. 23“But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! 24” No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth. 25” For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26” Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? 27“And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? 28“And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, 29yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. 30“But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! 31“Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ 32“For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 34“So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own (NASB).

Can we then say as Wesley suggests, “From this moment, God being my helper, I will lay up no more treasure upon earth. I will lay up treasure in heaven. I will give to God the things that are His: all my goods and all my heart?”

Published by doctorpaddy

An ordained minister, Christian communicator, and educator.

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