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Laying Up Treasure

May 20, 2019
By Mike Skaggs

2018-19 has been a great year, and the Trinity family has much to be proud of. Instead of looking back, however, let me share a story about looking forward.

Moses Montefiore was a successful Jewish businessman in 19th century England whose genius for investment banking made him wealthy at a young age and whose royal connections led to a knighthood in 1837. Working and travelling into his 90s, Montefiore was elected sheriff of London and was known for his philanthropy, using his fortune to fund a school for girls in Jerusalem and multiple hospitals among other endeavors.

On his 100th birthday, The London Times devoted a full section to Montefiore’s praise. One editorial shared that when once asked to reveal his net worth, Sir Moses gave a number well below what was expected. “The surprised inquirer said, ‘But surely the sum total of your wealth must be much more than that.’ With a smile, Sir Moses replied, ‘You didn’t ask me how much I own. You asked me how much I am worth. So I calculated how much I have given to charity this year. We are worth only what we are willing to share with others.’” 


So I must ask: “What’s your net worth?” Pastor and author Mark Batterson puts it this way, 

“It’s not calculated by the sum total of your stock holdings or real property assessments. And it has nothing to do with the trophies in your case, the degrees on your wall, or the title on your business card.

Your net worth equals the sum total of all you’ve given away. Not a penny more. Not a penny less. 

And when everything is said and done, what you don’t share is lost forever. But what you put into the hands of God becomes an eternal keepsake.”

As we come upon the freedoms that summer affords, I encourage us all to lay up treasure (see Matthew 6). It won’t just happen, so be intentional in the investment of your resources (time, money, talents, etc.) in kingdom enterprises. Build your eternal net worth, and teach your children to doing the same—just like Sir Moses did!

Have a great summer. We’ll see you in August!


Batterson, Mark. All In. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2013. 135.