The Treasures of the Heart

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21 ESV.

Jesus said some very confrontive things about money and value. He is essentially saying that the most important value is not to be found in accumulating currency on earth but rather in heaven. He is saying that the investment in people has a higher value than retained earnings. Jesus is not saying you cannot be successful or even rich, but He is saying the most important values are eternal. In our culture, the heart is usually considered to be primarily the seat of emotion, however in the New Testament the “heart” is considered the place of treasured values.

For most people money represents earned value, sweat equity, the residue of years of toil, self-denial, risk and achievement. For some it is the metric of the degree of success in life. For others the value that money represents the much sought-after security from want or calamity.

I frequently tell our recovering residents that if they want to acquire and keep a good job, their highest ambition in their work life should be to serve God by adding value to their employer. If they do this, their employer will prosper and they (the employee) will be rewarded and blessed for their faithfulness and hard work. The relative wealth we all possess is not only hard-earned and guarded as a hedge against need, but also to be a blessing for others.

Any Executive Director of any non-profit will tell you that without question the most difficult aspect of leading a non-profit organization, (especially a faith-based non-profit) is fundraising.  We are asking for serious and intimate commitments from people who have demonstrated a lifetime of self-discipline and restraint. We are asking our partners in this ministry to share and invest something that is hard-earned and precious in order to help other people learn those same skills and discipline. 

I was speaking to one of our Women’s staff members this morning, mentioning to her how much I appreciated her being on the “front lines” of helping people who are taking the brave step into life transformation.

I told her that my primary responsibility is to help provide the training, resources and support for her and the rest of our staff to help effect life change in our guests and residents.  

For us to be successful in this endeavor means we need, trained and competent staff who are spiritually discerning and mature, who understand the effects of life trauma, who are emotionally resilient and compassionate, who demonstrate mental elasticity and creativity and who most of all have a deep commitment to God and the Gospel, and who are able to love those who are at the moment, unlovable. This is what you support with your hard-earned treasure.

Because of the additional burden of California State Minimum Wage Law, Visalia Rescue Mission is projecting a potential 200-300 thousand-dollar increase in cost for 2019.  Historically about 60 percent of our revenue comes from our Thrift operations which directly supports our shelter and recovery ministry.  Since State law is creating a reduction in Thrift Store revenue, the difference must be made up in other areas. VRM has already reduced staff and some services in an environment where the need for trained staff and services is increasing. Visalia Rescue Mission spends 8% of its budget for administrative overhead, and the rest goes into the ministry of life change. Consider joining Visalia Rescue Mission as a partner in life change. It is an investment for treasures in heaven that will not fade away.