Scripture Memorization 7 of 52: Luke 12:34

***Late last night it suddenly dawned on me that I had not written my scripture memorization blog for this week. I do apologize for the three day delay!***

“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” -Luke 12:34 ESV

The application of this text is very straight forward but easily forgotten so this week let us check in with ourselves and see where our treasure is.

Seven questions to ask yourself to know where your treasure is?

  1. What is the focus of my job? 
  2. What occupies the majority of my free time?
  3. What do I spend the most time talking to my wife, my kids, my friends, my coworkers about?
  4. What do I spend the most time thinking about?
  5. What do I spend the most time worrying about?
  6. Do I make private and corporate worship a priority?
  7. Do I tithe (10% of income)? 

Now questions two through six are self explanatory but let me give just a few words of explanation to questions one and seven.

Question one: What is the focus of my job?

I am not indicating through this question that if your job is not a ministry job then your treasure is elsewhere. What I am indicating is that if your job whether in full-time ministry or a non-designated ministry career field is not seen by you as a vehicle by which you may be a witness and servant for Jesus Christ then your heart may have another treasure than Jesus. Where I live locally many people work in government. Working in government is seen by some as the most secular job in the world right now. For the Christian what others may see as a degraded field of work, the Christian sees as an opportunity to interact and witness to people whom hold various religious views and even practice various world religions, people with moral views contrary to the Bible on various issues i.e sexuality, life, money. The Christian whose treasure is the Lord goes to work, any work with this focus, I can make a difference for Jesus today.

Question seven: Do I tithe?

A very simple question, but a profound indicator of whether or not God is the treasure of our hearts! God laid out a very clear standard for our resources. God asked ALL Christians to give at least 10% of their increase, income, first fruits. So the question do you tithe is a question of obedience to God and thus a question of the heart. It is not a question of God’s need of the money, it is a question of the heart. Here is the truth on this question…we have an obedience problem in Christendom as a whole, but I will focus on Adventism, to be exact I will focus on Adventism in the United States (NAD = I know this also includes Guam, Bermuda, and Canada but I have not used either their tithe or their membership numbers in this report) exclusively in this post with my numbers, simply because I am a Seventh-day Adventist Pastor in the United States and these are the numbers I know and the people I work amongst. It has been estimated by some that only 30% of NAD members pay an honest, true, 10% tithe. Let us say our active membership is 500,000 (membership is reported at 1.2 million but walk into any Adventist church spend a few weeks and we’ll quickly discover less than half of the reported membership are active members). And then let us base tithe on a per household basis so we’ll say there are 250,000 active Adventist households in the United States. The median per household income in the United States in 2015 was $55,755 (the largest percentage of Adventists in North America live in states in which the Median Household income exceeds $60,000 and the states with the lowest number of Adventists are often also where median income is the lowest but for ease we’ll stick with $55,755). If Adventist median household incomes in the United States hold with the median household incomes of the nation as a whole which I believe they easily do, see the previous parenthesis, then for those 250,000 households then tithe from the United States alone would have been 1.4 Billion in 2015 (remember this is based on less than 50% active membership), instead our tithe was in 2015 from the states of the United States not our territories and not from Canada roughly $918,000,000. $918,000,000 is still a great number and it is why the Adventist Church is as strong as it is financially not only in the United States but all around the world, but we aren’t talking about great, we aren’t talking about strong, we are talking about obedience, we are talking about the treasures of our heart and $918,000,000 is still likely $482,000,000 less than a true tithe. This is why I said the truth on question seven is that we have an obedience problem in Christendom (the numbers in evangelical and mainline denominations excluding Adventists are actually even lower), we have an obedience problem, and thus a heart problem in Adventism in the United States.

Seven questions for us to ponder…not just you me also…this week as we memorize:

“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” -Luke 12:34 ESV

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