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Matthew 6:19-21

Heavenly Treasures

19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

You've seen them. They are all around, scrambling to earn every cent they can, sometimes working fourteen hour days, career driven, and hungry for success. They spend little time with their families, develop ulcers and heart conditions at an early age, are miserably discontented, but seem to have lots of money. These are, of course, the worst case scenarios. Unlike the hypocrites who fasted and prayed in order to get the attention of others, some people do everything for money. Their self-esteem depends on how much they can earn.

Most Christians, on the other hand, are not career driven, workaholics as I described above, but we do have the same natural desires for material possessions. We all have our treasures in some form....real estate, 401K, savings plan, stamp collection, etc.

In Jesus' day, costly clothing and fabrics were often saved as investments, thus the reference to the moth. "Rust" means any sort of deterioration, such as wear and tear of the material. All worldly possessions are subject to being destroyed by wear and tear or stolen from us by thieves.

Modern investments are nothing but book entries. These treasures can be wiped out in just a few minutes by a stock market crash or by hyperinflation. Yet, most of us have trusted the security of our future to these investments. They are our treasures and they represent our dreams for the future.

Jesus taught that it is much better for us to invest in the kingdom of heaven than in worldly possessions. The praise of men and the comforts of the world are all the same thing. They are temporal, at best. Naturally, we are going to have material blessings. They are God's gifts to us, but they should not be what we strive for nor what we place our future hopes upon.

Heavenly rewards are eternal and cannot be lost. They are given to us after our conversion and in return for our obedience to and sacrifice for Christ. Obedience is the greatest form of worship and often it costs us our worldly possessions. Obedience is not done for gain, but out of love for our Lord. Obedience requires that we trust in Him to provide our worldly needs, while we pursue His will for our lives.

Jesus said, "And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward [is] with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Blessed [are] they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city." (Revelation 22:12-14)

Those are the rewards we should work enter the city of God and stand in His presence, to hear the voice of Jesus commend us for our obedience and love for Him, to receive His rewards, whatever they may be, and to spend eternity doing God's will.

Your heart will be on the things that you have worked hard to achieve. If you spend your whole life working to build your own business, you will cherish whatever it is that you accomplish. But, if you spend your life working for the kingdom of God, your heart will be with God.

Before The Throne:

Where is your heart? Do you still struggle to gain material possessions? Pray for a right sense of priorities. Ask God to protect you against the temptations of worldly possessions. Ask Him to show you His will for your life and then commit yourself to doing it, regardless of the cost. Pray for the faith you will need to follow through with your commitment.

For Further Study:

** Job 31:24; Ps 39:6; Ps 62:10; Prov 11:4; Prov 16:16; Prov 23:5; Eccl 2:26; Eccl 5:10-14; Zeph 1:18; Luke 12:21; Luke 18:24; 1Tim 6:8-10, 17; Heb 13:5; Jas 5:1-3; 1John 2:15; 1John 2:16;

(v.20) ** Matt 19:21; Isa 33:6; Luke 12:33; Luke 18:22; 1Tim 6:17; Heb 10:34; Heb 11:26; Jas 2:5; 1Pet 1:4; 1Pet 5:4; Rev 2:9;

(v.21) ** where. Isa 33:6; Luke 12:34; 2Cor 4:18 ** there. Matt 12:34; Prov 4:23; Jer 4:14; Jer 22:17; Acts 8:21; Rom 7:5-7; Phlm 1:3, 19; Col 3:1-3; Heb 3:12;


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