Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:19-21
Recently I have been intrigued by the term “treasure”. Our Yunnan missions team T-shirt reads “I store my treasures in heaven.” We want to learn what Jesus truly means in Matthew 6:19 when He tells us not to store up treasures on earth but in heaven. Upon preparing for our mission trip, I looked up the word “treasure” in the Bible and discovered that it turns up seventeen times in the New Testament alone.
In Matthew 13, Jesus equates the Kingdom of Heaven to treasure hidden in the field. It has enormous value with which we are certain of, so much so that we should sell everything we own to try and obtain it. What is in your life right now that you are absolutely sure of? What is so valuable that you would sell everything you own to keep? And I mean everything! Probably not many things in this life bear such value. But our Lord says the Kingdom of Heaven does. It is something we should be willing to give up everything we own and everyone we love for. Is this how you see Kingdom of Heaven? I find myself not always seeing the Kingdom of Heaven that way, and it is interesting when I begin to search for the things that hinder me from the right perspective.
In all three gospels, Matthew, Mark and Luke, our Lord tells the young man if he wants to be perfect, he needs to give all his possessions to the poor and follow Him. Then he will have the treasure in heaven. Once again He emphasises the importance of giving up everything for the treasure. I wonder why our Lord cares so much about us giving up everything for Him. In Matthew 6:21, Jesus says where our treasure is, there our heart will be also. I believe the possessions we give up are not as important as our willingness to give these things up. God is not after our possessions but our hearts.
Now that we know the what and the why, how do we actually do it? What does our life look like if we are to lay up treasures in heaven? Paul, in 1 Timothy 6:17-19 gives us the specifics of how to lay up treasures in heaven which he calls the coming age. He says to build the firm foundation for the coming age, we need not put our hope in wealth but in God, be rich in good deeds, share and be generous. Simple and straight forward isn’t it?
Let’s learn on treasure hunting by:
- Thanking God for the clear reminder that He owns all treasures and that you are to have the vision of faith to focus on it and realise it when you see it.
- Asking God to give you the courage to abandon the world for a life that is truly life.