Jesus Teaches about Practical Spiritual Practices
What do you consider a treasure? I have a photo album of pictures that my mother collected when my siblings and I were very small children. I regard that a treasure. When we go on a trip, I bring back mementos to remind me of the great vacation we had. Maybe it’s the photos I took when we discovered a new park or animal preserve. These are special and things that I would miss if my house burned down and I lost them all. They are treasures.
Some people amass property, buildings, cars, boats, and all manner of toys. They spend their time working hard to acquire their treasures, sometimes sacrificing time with the family. People have been known to collect gold or diamonds. They rent safety deposit boxes and pay for expensive insurance policies to protect all their treasures. When the economy took a downturn recently, many people lose their retirement income, or house, or other such treasure. Some committed suicide because of their loss.
Jesus had great insight into what treasure was and what we should do with it. He said, in Mathew 6 verses 19-21 “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.”
What does that mean? How can we store treasures in heaven? Over the years, I’ve heard people joking about hitching a wagon to their coffin when they die so they can take their ‘stuff’ with them. Yet we all know that we leave the way we came…with nothing. So then, how do we store treasure in heaven? We certainly can’t send it ahead of us by FedEx.
What exactly does Jesus consider to be treasure? Could it be the people He died for? He loved us so much, that He actually gave is life up for us. He sacrificed all in order to take us to heaven with Him. All we have to do is believe and receive. That is His treasure so, then what can we do to build our treasure in heaven? We share our faith, our story, with others so that they will accept the pardon paid for on the cross. Then they will join us in heaven one day.
Our treasure is the people whom Jesus brings into our life. He points them in our direction and asks us to treat them as valuable, as He does. Do you care that your next door neighbor may spend eternity in hell? If he’s not in heaven, that’s where he’ll be, in eternal torment.
Jesus goes on in verse 24 to say, “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” If we push and strive to build our material treasure trove, we won’t have time or the inclination to serve the Lord and build up our heavenly coffers. We either live for the toys, or we live for the Lord. Can’t have two masters.
Where are you today? Look around. What does your home…your life…reflect? Do you reflect Jesus or do you reflect worldly success? You can be successful but still reflect Jesus if your first priority is building treasure in heaven. But if you spend all your waking moments collecting more stuff, leave Jesus to one day a week, then you are serving something other than Christ.
For further study: Gen.14:12; Ex.20:17; Haggai 1:6; Matt.6:24; Mk.10:21