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. (Matthew 6:19–21)
In Matthew 6:19, Jesus not only tells us what we should obey, but also what we should not do: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth. . . . But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven.” Earthly treasures can be destroyed, consumed, or stolen; however, heavenly rewards cannot. Where we store the things we treasure will show the Father what we value, because our hearts will be tied to either earth or heaven.
Building material wealth in this life is relatively unimportant compared to laying up treasures in heaven. Jesus is giving us the kingdom. He is giving us eternal life, the hope of heaven. What we have now is a temporary thing. What we will have for all eternity is the important thing.
It seems significant that when we lay up treasures in heaven it is for ourselves. What we invest in eternal values will be returned to us personally. The point Jesus is making is that worldly treasures are corruptible. They deteriorate. Thieves steal them. Treasures laid up in heaven have a security that remains, like nothing on earth.
How do we lay up treasure in heaven? Giving to advance the work of the kingdom of God is one obvious way. Working to build godly character is another, developing minds that can enjoy great thoughts of God and hearts that transcend selfishness by doing loving acts of service. Such treasures have eternal value, and will abide forever.
There is clearly much reward that comes from obeying this command.
Lord Jesus, sometimes my treasure is misplaced, and I value things that are not eternal. Forgive me for my selfishness and for storing up treasures that are tied to earth instead of to heaven. Please give me a deep desire to love and value the things of Your kingdom above anything else that tries to lure me away. May I obediently love others and serve them from the depths of a desire birthed in Your heart and embedded into my own. Thank You Jesus, for depositing this great truth into my life so that I might walk with integrity in this world as I obey Your commands.
–Adapted from Encountering Jesus (Praying the Commands of Christ into Your Life) by Norval Hadley. This resource is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount on the book.
Praise the Creator, who fills mountain springs, makes grass grow for cattle, and allows people to bring forth food from the earth (Ps. 104:10-14). Thank God for your food and shelter. Confess that all you have belongs to God. Commit to living as a steward, not a consumer. Ask God where to start in renewing your mind-set.
Pray that Christians—by caring more about people than things, by managing money well—will pique interest among non-Christians.
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