Today’s Scripture: Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: Matthew 6:19‑20

Part two of John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress contains the story of Christian’s wife, Christiana. In the story, Christiana stops at an inn run by the wise man, Gaius. While there, Gaius is asked to solve a riddle.

“A man there was, though some did count him mad,
The more he cast away, the more he had.”

Then they all gave good heed, wondering what good GAIUS would say; so he sat still awhile, and then thus replied:

“He that bestows his goods upon the poor,
Shall have as much again and ten times more.”

Then said JOSEPH, “I dare say, sir, I did not think you could have found it out.”

“Oh,” said GAIUS, “I have been trained up in this way a great while. Nothing teaches like experience; I have learned of my Lord to be kind; and have found by experience that I have gained thereby. ‘There is that scatters, yet increases; and there is that withholds more than is meet, but it tends to poverty.’ ‘There is that makes himself rich, yet hath nothing; there is that makes himself poor, yet hath great riches'”.

“There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty.” Proverbs 11:24

“There is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing: there is that maketh himself poor, yet hath great riches.” Proverbs 13:7

Saving for yourself doesn’t make you rich. You might have money, but you don’t have anything. I have met several “poor” people who are far richer than any billionaire. I also know that when we trust God enough to give as we ought, God will make sure that our needs are met. I have never met someone who faithfully gave, and regretted it.

You may say that you can’t afford to give. Try it; one day you will find out you can’t afford not to give.

Devotional by Jim Scudder Jr.