Treasures in Heaven
July 21, 2020
. . . but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matthew 6:20-21).
In the previous verse, Jesus said not to ‘treasure’ treasures here on earth. He did not say His disciples were to be poor, but to realize the temporary nature of material wealth. Moths will eat fine fabrics. Vermin will eat and destroy crops, buildings, etc. Thieves will rob us of our wealth. And even if we do all we can to prevent such loss, we can’t take our wealth with us when we die.
Psalm 49:10 For he sees that even the wise die; the fool and the stupid alike must perish and leave their wealth to others.
Proverbs 13:22 A good man leaves an inheritance to his children's children, but the sinner's wealth is laid up for the righteous.
Ecclesiastes 2:20-21 So I turned about and gave my heart up to despair over all the toil of my labors under the sun, because sometimes a person who has toiled with wisdom and knowledge and skill must leave everything to be enjoyed by someone who did not toil for it. This also is vanity and a great evil.
In verses 20-21, Jesus got to the heart of the matter with regard to material wealth. Again, the issue is one of stewardship vs. ownership. If we can’t take our material resources and wealth with us when we die, how do we ‘treasure’ treasures in heaven? By using those resources to minister to people here - stewardship vs. ownership.
God said to Abraham, I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed (Genesis 12:2-3, emphasis mine). We are to be a blessing to others of the blessings God has given us. How does that ‘treasure’ treasures in heaven? Holiness of character, obedience to all of God’s commandments, evangelism and mission work that bring souls to faith in Jesus Christ, discipleship of new believers, development of the local church for ministry in its community, etc. These will all translate to heaven when we die. These are treasures we can be storing up in heaven now. “Without some accumulation of capital, no new ventures can be undertaken for the Kingdom of Jesus Christ” (F.F. Bruce).
The Christian who is committed to the cause of Jesus Christ will see him/herself as a conduit through which such blessings flow, and will gladly serve as that conduit, For where you treasure is, there your heart will be also (v.21). If we treasure the things of the earth, we will miss the greater blessings of heaven. If we treasure the things of heaven, we will not miss out on both treasures here and in heaven.
“Bless the work of my hands, Lord, that I may honor the stewardship of heaven’s resources and thereby be a blessing to others while bringing honor and glory to Your name. Keep my affections in check, so that I will not hoard what I have because I love my stuff, rather I will be willing to open my hands to those who are truly in need. Amen.”