(Unsplash/Sharon McCutcheon)

"Use your worldly resources to benefit others and make friends. Then, when your possessions are gone, they will welcome you to an eternal home" (Luke 16:9 NLT).

The best use of your money is using it to get people into heaven.

Luke 16:9 (NLT) is a problem verse that most people don't understand. Jesus says, "Use your worldly resources to benefit others and make friends. Then, when your possessions are gone, they will welcome you to an eternal home."

Jesus is saying that just like the shrewd manager who made friends he could count on later, you need to use some of your money to make eternal friends that you will have forever in heaven and who will welcome you when you get there.

He's not saying you can buy your way into heaven, because you can't. Jesus has already paid the price on the cross. He's not saying you can purchase your salvation, because you can't. Salvation is a free gift by grace.

Jesus is telling you to use your money to build friendships that are going to go on and on for eternity. When you use your money to help other people meet Jesus, you make friends for eternity and you gain rewards for eternity.

One day you're going to die. Imagine that when you get to heaven, there are a hundred people standing at the entrance, clapping and cheering and saying, "We've been waiting for you! We're here because you spent some money to tell us the Good News. We're your friends for life—no, eternity, because we're in debt to you. If you hadn't used your money that way, we wouldn't have heard how to get to heaven."

Are you using any of your money for that kind of thing? Is anybody going to be in heaven because of you, because of the way you used your money?

When you buy a Bible and you give it to somebody who doesn't have one, you've stored up treasure in heaven. When you support a program that shares the Good News around the world, you have stored up treasure in heaven. When you help build a church, you have stored up treasure in heaven. That is the highest and best use of your money.

You can't take it with you, but you can send it on ahead by investing in people who are going to heaven.

Talk It Over

  • What are some of the things you spend money on that do not have an eternal impact?
  •  What people has God already placed in your life with whom you can share the Good News?
  •  What are some ways you can use your money to invest in eternal friendships?

Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of pastors.com, a global internet community for pastors.

This article originally appeared at pastorrick.com.

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