Treasure

Save up for your future. How many times have we heard that advice over the years? It is sound advice, but it is even sounder when placed in a Biblical context. Jesus told us in Matthew 16: 

 

19Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” 

 

As the old adage goes, you can’t take it with you. Thankfully you can send it on ahead. So how do we store up treasure in Heaven? Paul gives us a pretty good roadmap in 1st Timothy 6:17-19. He also highlights an important truth about earthly wealth. 

 

17Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life. 

 

First, we (and face it, all Americans are in top 5% of the world in wealth) need to be careful not to see our possessions as any sort of security nor as something to boast about. Rather, earthly wealth is a tool and a means to an end (hopefully a spiritual end). Secondly, we walk the path to Heavenly treasure by using what God has given us (possessions, talents, gifts) to do good for others and so bring honor to our Father, from Whom all blessings flow. And finally, what is the purpose of this Heavenly treasure? It is a means to an end as well. That end being to “take hold of the life that is truly life.” 

 

So how much Heavenly treasure is enough? To put a spiritual twist on Rockefeller’s response to the same question about earthly wealth, the answer is “Just a little bit more.” Or as Paul puts it in Galatians 6:9, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” 

 

So clearly God’s Word instructs us to be about our Father’s business. A major part of that business is doing good for others. And to keep on doing good. Not for our benefit (although that is promised as well), but to bring credit to our Master. Think of what it would be like if the first association people made to Christians was, “Those people are always out doing good for others.” Wouldn’t that make God smile? 

 

In Him, 

Hal