Out of the many verses in the Bible on the subject of money and riches, Matthew 6:19-21 is, perhaps, one of the first passages that comes to mind. "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where theives break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in Heaven where neither moth nor rust destroys and where theives do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
I don't remember exactly when the question came to me but somewhere in the midst of all my thoughts on this subject, it startled me one day. "Does not laying up treasures on earth automatically mean I am storing up treasures in Heaven?"
It slowly began to dawn on me that maybe I was coming at this whole thing from the wrong direction. Just maybe my focus was backward and could it be the whole key was in that little phrase in Matthew 6:21 "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also"?
Maybe you could argue that anyone who is living with less -- i.e. not storing up treasures on earth -- obviously doesn't have his heart in his earthly treasures, therefore is storing up treasures in Heaven. That could be, maybe. I could also argue that there are plenty of poor people who are evil but that's all kind of beside the point. The point that the question drove home to my heart was this -- Store up treasures in Heaven and the rest will follow.
It is so easy to live by the letter of the law rather than by the spirit. I want a list of rules that tell me how much I am allowed to own, how much I am allowed to spend, how much is not storing up on earth, so I can make a tidy checklist and go on my way justified like the Pharisee of old. The fact of the matter is, God doesn't really care how carefully I think I am not storing up treasures here. He doesn't even want my ratty little checklist with all the slots marked off and gold stars on my chart. What He really wants is my heart.