“Do not store up treasure for yourselves on Earth, where moths and rust can eat it up and thieves break in and steal. Instead, store your treasure in Heaven, where it is safe from moths and rust and thieves.” Matthew 6:19–20
Jesus said the most amazing things. Why are they amazing? Because I seldom hear them repeated, and rarely do I hear them explained. Why would that be? Perhaps because many people have trouble believing he really meant what he said.
All his words are important, but maybe “treasure in Heaven” should be at the top of our list.
Rich people entering Heaven is a near-impossibility.
Jesus told one young man what he needed to do, but he left, sorrowing. To him, following Jesus had less value than all the possessions he would have to give up.
I’ve heard preachers say this need for sacrifice applied only to this man, not to all of us. I’m sure the congregation was relieved to hear that.
However, what Jesus said does apply to me. How do I know that? At another time, he said, “If you’re not willing to give up everything, you can’t be my disciple” (Luke 14:26).
God’s favor isn’t measured by our financial net worth.
When people at church tell me, “I’m blessed,” they are usually talking about their health and wealth, using the same success measurement the world uses. This concept is nothing new. First-century Jews thought the poor and afflicted were cursed by God because of their sins. Otherwise, they would be rich and healthy.
Maybe we should take note of the poor widow in the Temple, who gave two coins, which was all she had (Mark 12:41–44). I’m pretty sure her sacrifice had a profoundly great eternal reward.
Treasure on Earth has questionable value.
How many times have people said to themselves, If I only had this, then life would be wonderful? I’ve made that mistake before. For as long as I don’t have it, I can believe the lie. But when I get it and I’m left unsatisfied, I know I have placed a high value in the wrong place.
I have to ask myself, Why did I do that? Perhaps the world’s standards had influenced my beliefs. Or maybe I hadn’t yet walked with the Lord long enough to have faith in his rewards. I’d not yet experienced either reward, so I had the choice to believe whichever one I wanted.
My heart is with what I treasure most (Matthew 6:21).
Jesus warned against people doing good so they would be admired by others, because that’s all the reward they will get (Matthew 6:1). No reward in Heaven. Evidently they valued treasure on Earth above treasure in Heaven.
Therefore, I need to remind myself that everything I have will be left when I go to Heaven. So what I leave has zero value compared to even the smallest treasure with God having immeasurable value because it’s eternal.
Be cautious about looking for increasing wealth.
When Jesus said he came to give life in abundance (John 10:10), he wasn’t promising to grow my bank account. How do I know that? Because he said life was not found in the abundance of my possessions (Luke 12:15).
In the Kingdom of God, our value is based on how much we give, not how much we get. In fact, unto whom much is given, much is required (Luke 12:47–48). That is, they are expected to be more “fruitful,” giving more.
“It is harder for a man of great wealth to enter the Kingdom than for a camel to get through a needle’s eye.” — Matthew 19:24
In 1980, Bruno Serato came to the U.S. with $200 in his pocket. Twenty-five years later, he was looking for more so he could give more.
Five years after the above video, what initially appeared to be a tragedy became an opportunity for many others to store treasure in Heaven. Bruno’s charity serves thousands of children every day at 62 locations in southern California.