Is your computer safe? Do you know who might be lurking in your files, swiping your private information, accessing your financial records? Is someone stealing from you?

Studies say that one out of every twenty Americans has suffered some sort of identity theft. Smartphone users were one third likelier to be targeted by thieves. There are approximately 378 million victims per year, or more than 1 million each day and 12 per second.

Have I made you paranoid yet?

In Jesus' day, identity theft wasn't a problem. Computer hackers didn't steal information. No one worried about cybercrime.

Yet Jesus issued a security warning. He said, "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal" (Matthew 6:19).

Even then, almost two thousand years ago, people had to worry about having their treasure stolen. Jesus had a solution as to how to prevent that: "But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal" (Matthew 6:20).

Treasure in heaven? I haven't seen any celestial ATMs around. What did Jesus mean by "store up for yourselves treasures in heaven"?

Fortunately for us, the apostle Paul explains what that phrase means. In talking about wealthy people, Paul instructs his friend Timothy: "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 6:18—19).

We put our treasure in heaven by being willing to share what we have, using our money to do good things. And not just our money… we can build up our heavenly account by sharing of our time and our talents.

Go ahead… build up your celestial bank account
Jesus went on to say, "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" (Matthew 6:21). If "heavenly treasure" is our measure of success, then we'll live our lives thinking about how to please God and serve others, rather than accumulating goods that can be targeted by thieves.

Go ahead… build up your celestial bank account. It's the safest investment you can make.

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