“DO NOT LAY UP FOR YOURSELVES TREASURE ON EARTH, WHERE MOTH AND RUST DESTROY AND WHERE THIEVES BREAK IN AND STEAL.
BUT LAY UP FOR YOURSELVES TREASURES IN HEAVEN, WHERE NEITHER MPOTH NOR RUST DESTROYS AND WHERE THIEVES DO NOT BREAK IN AND STEAL.
FOR WHERE YOUR TREASURE IS, THERE YOUR HEART WILL BE ALSO.”
Where is our heart? What is our treasure? WE each need to answer these questions for ourselves. We need to be honest about where our hearts really exist and where we honestly live day to day. We need to know what our treasure is and where it lies AND to what extent we will go to protect that treasure at the loss of all else.
Treasure is anything we value above all else and that which motivates us to action. For some it is money. For others it is power. Still other people strive for fame or attention. There are many things in this world that seeks for control of our heart.
Jesus warned us that earthly currency has an expiration date. While it may satisfy us temporarily, it is unstable and fleeting. The ever-changing faces on magazine covers remind us that the famous are here and gone in a blink. The stock market crash of 1929 taught us that the wealthy can quickly lose it all. Power, prestige, and public approval are limited and can be gone in an instant! “This world in its present form is passing away” (1 Corinthians 7:31). The moment we take our last breath, earthly treasure won’t matter anymore. Jesus urged us to think beyond that last breath to eternity. When our focus is on eternity—when our treasure is laid up in heaven—our lifestyles reflect that perspective.
We will all give an account of ourselves before God for every action (Romans 14:12) and every idle word (Matthew 12:36). No one is exempt. Excuses are not accepted. God sees and knows every thought we think and holds us accountable for the truth we’ve been given (Romans 1:18–22). We store up “treasure in heaven” when we make choices on earth that benefit God’s kingdom. Jesus said that even offering a cup of cool water to a fellow believer is worthy of eternal reward (Matthew 10:42).
In Luke 16:19–31, Jesus told a story about a rich man and a beggar. The rich man had invested his life in pleasure. He cared little for anyone or anything but himself. When he died, his riches could not follow him. His life choices had prepared him only for hell, and all the money and prestige he enjoyed on earth counted for nothing. After death, he would have given everything he ever owned for a single drop of water, but his treasure had been invested elsewhere.
It is no sin to be rich, but our passions follow our investments. Wealthy people who consider their riches as belonging to God will use what they have in ways that have eternal significance, protecting their own hearts from the love of money (1 Timothy 6:10). People whose treasure is in heaven cannot be owned by their possessions. They cannot be bought off because nothing on earth is worth the price of their soul. They value the currency of heaven and use their earthly treasure to purchase “heavenly gold,” which will never lose its value. Investing our treasure in material things keeps our hearts anchored to earthly values; however, when we invest in things of eternal value, our hearts remain loyal to the Lord.