January 26 I Saturday
“But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.” —Matthew 6:20
The features that characterize heavenly treasures are the exact opposite of earthly treasures. Instead of temporary and troublesome, heavenly treasures are permanent and peaceful.
To store up treasure in heaven is to live on earth with the interests of heaven in mind. The issues that govern our values, goals and behaviour should not be those confined to this life only and played out before others. They should have eternal issues at heart and be played out before God. The very same possessions, bank balances, occupations and living standards can be storing up treasures in heaven or on earth. What matters is not the nature of our occupation or the size of our salary but that we pursue His agenda in whatever sphere God has called us to. It is not the substance of our possessions that is the issue. It is the audience before whom we live.
Whether we realize it or not, to emphasize earthly treasures is to derive our satisfaction from what we represent before people. Conversely, to lay up treasures in heaven is to derive satisfaction from pleasing God. Both are investments, but we are wise to invest in that which money cannot buy, that death cannot destroy and that holds its currency beyond this life.
The nature of these “treasures in heaven” is not specified but presents an interesting dilemma. If there are treasures to be gained, this implies there are also treasures to be missed. We might wonder, then, what benefit there will be to gaining heavenly treasures and what loss for not accumulating them. We can only speculate, but as heaven is so “other-worldly,” we probably would not fully comprehend even if we were told.
I once heard the interesting suggestion that our reward in heaven will be a greater appreciation of Christ. Two people may look at the same painting, but each has a different level of appreciation. The one whose appreciation is limited does not feel any lack. He simply looks at the painting and moves on to something else. The other might be lost in rapture at what he sees, finding deep inner pleasure and meaning in the artistry. He is enriched with an appreciation unknown to the first person.
Perhaps our experience of the Lord Jesus in eternity will be similar. Those with less appreciation will not be conscious that their capacity is less, and may live only in the shallows of those whose love and appreciation for Christ is all-consuming. Whatever may be true, to lay up treasure in heaven is certainly to enjoy forever the consequences of a disposition toward God that is concerned for His will, His interests and His pleasure.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for the eternal reward of treasures in heaven. Make storing up these treasures my priority now, and I look forward to experiencing them.