“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.
For the first time in history many in the world have so many things that they are paying for it to be housed in storage units. And yet if you asked 90% there would probably be a denial that there is “too much.” It’s not to say storage units are bad. Sometimes you need them during seasons of transition. It’s just a reflection of culture that is drowning in stuff. And if you think you are not, you will be unpleasantly surprised the next time you move to a new house.
“Treasures” is really a good word for our things. Much of our stuff has deep sentimental value attached to it. We worse this shirt at a special event or this thing “I’ve had for 20 years!” But very easily our “stuff” can also be our bondage. It takes time to maintain it, care for it and tend to it.
When I was in college one of my professors remarked that for every 1 thing you buy there are 10 things at least to go around it. If you buy something as simple as a bicycle, you will need an air pump, a helmet, a chain lock and more. So every item that we own has other items connected to it for it’s care. Stuff.
What is my Earthly Treasure?
What are my earthly treasures? For me it’s the family photos, maybe my computer and phone, my books, some heritage jewelry. Probably more than anything my most important earthly physical treasure (outside of family) is the familiarity of my stuff. Having things that are familiar bring comfort.
But stuff can be gone in a second–a house fire, a tornado, a hurricane, a thief. It is also temporary. It is not something we can carry past a few decades as we will die and it cannot go with us, even if it is placed in our coffins.
What is my Heavenly Treasure?
So Jesus tells us to store up for ourselves treasures that remain, treasures in heaven. So what are our heavenly treasures?
- I think God’s greatest treasure is people. So anything that works to bring God’s people home has the highest value.
- Acts of love. Remembering the poor, caring for the widow and orphan, loving the needy. These are eternal.
- His Word is eternal. Putting the Word into the hands of the people across the earth gives them potential for access.
- Our lives. “They did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.” (Rev 12:11)
If I were to “store up” treasures in heaven, it would mean being intentional about these things. It would be about not using my money and resources for myself, where it is taken away, but for that which is eternal. Luke 12:16-21 is a frightening word of truth for our day.
Where is my Heart?
We only need to look into our checkbooks to find that answer.