September 25, 2012: Treasures of Heaven
September 25, 2012 § 1 Comment
“Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.” ~ Matthew 6.20-21 ~
We’ve seen this pattern before; in v. 19, Christ gives his audience a “do not” command. He then gives a positive command, one that reflects the true nature of the coming Kingdom. He just commanded his audience not to hoard corruptible treasures. The positive command follows: “Store your treasures in heaven.”
This command forces the audience to pause and ponder. Christ presents the Kingdom of Heaven as a safe place for keeping treasures; decay and thieves have no place in the coming Kingdom. They can’t get in! They belong to a different kingdom.
But this understanding prompts the question that causes us to re-evaluate what we treasure: If thieves and decay cannot enter God’s Kingdom, what does that say about treasures that are vulnerable to thieves and decay? Christ challenges the hearer to not see Heaven as a celestial safety-deposit box. Corruptible treasures will be corrupted, regardless of where they’re stashed.
Heavenly treasures and corruptible treasures are apples and oranges, Christ says. If a thief can steal it, or rust can destroy it, it’s not a Heavenly treasure. We must constantly prayerfully consider what we’re valuing and pursuing.
Christ knows the nature of our human hearts. This is why he says that our hearts will be where our treasure is. There’s something about getting that only causes us to want more. What do we value? More money? A bigger house? Nicer clothes? If we value corruptible treasures, we will chase corruptibility, even to the point of basing our identity in something that will crumble and fall.
The alternative is to embrace treasures of Heaven; if we look back at the Beatitudes in the previous chapter, we can get a good idea of what Heavenly treasures look like. Spiritual brokenness, mourning, comfort, gentleness, righteousness, mercy, purity, peace, and even persecution, are Heaven’s treasures. If you open up the bank vault of the Almighty, you’ll find these things inside. What will God find in the hidden places of our hearts? If we treasure the treasures of Heaven, we find our citizenship in the Kingdom of Heaven. If we treasure the treasures of corruptibility, we are corroding our own souls.
Lord Christ, I confess I have desired, chased, and even slaved for things that don’t matter. Beyond what is necessary for life, I have gotten sucked into the pursuit of things that are nothing but cheap, shoddy substitutes for what your Kingdom values. Please change my heart and re-orient my pursuits so that I am chasing your heart and your Kingdom alone. Amen.