Laying Up Treasures In Heaven

By: Bill Bratt 

In Jesusí Sermon on the Mount as recorded by Matthew in chapters 5 through 7, Jesus gave many spiritual principles of Christian living .

Letís look at what Jesus said about "Laying up Treasures in Heaven."

Jesus said in Matthew 6 beginning in verse 19, "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; {20} "but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. {21} "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

The first thing Jesus mentioned is "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth."

Letís look at this in a physical versus a spiritual analogy.

To lay up treasures on earth, we would be talking about saving money in a bank, buying investments for the future or retirement, buying a house, paintings, silver, gold and jewelry. The idea would be that our treasures would increase in value over time with the time value of money. Now there is not anything wrong with acquiring these possessions, unless we are obsessed with our treasures.

Remember Abraham was very wealthy and he was a friend of God (James 2:23, .

What is our attitude in looking at our treasures? Jesus said in verse 21 "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

Now lets look deeper at what Jesus said about our earthly treasures, "where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal."

Moths can destroy our clothes, and rust can put holes in our automobiles. We can buy a new car and in three or four years we have to replace it, whether from rust, high mileage or repairs. Our physical things are not made to last forever. Then there is the thief. With wealth, money and riches comes the fear of a thief breaking into our financial accounts and stealing our money, or breaking into our houses or stealing our cars.

Our loss of physical things can usually be replaced with our own money or insurance money.

But when we have things happen to our physical treasures, what is our attitude like?

Now letís think about the spiritual side.

Quoting Jesus again from the Sermon on the Mount, He said in Matthew 6 verse 33, "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

We must put God first, in physical things and in the spiritual things.

Letís look and see what Jesus told the Rich Young Ruler in Matthew 19 starting in verse 16, The rich young ruler said, ""Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?" {17} So Jesus said to him, "Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments." {18} He said to Him, "Which ones?" Jesus said, " 'You shall not murder,' 'You shall not commit adultery,' 'You shall not steal,' 'You shall not bear false witness,' {19} 'Honor your father and your mother,' and, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'" {20} The young man said to Him, "All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?" {21} Jesus said to him, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me." {22} But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.""

Jesus told the rich young ruler to "Sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me."

The rich young ruler was sorrowful, for he had great possessions. Jesus exposed his heart of greed. The rich young ruler gave up his opportunity to have treasure in heaven and to follow Jesus.

Obviously when we die we are not going to take anything physical with us. You will never see a ĎU-Haulí trailer behind a hearse. None of our physical possessions or treasures gives us any better position in the after-life.

The only thing that we will be able to take with us when we die is our character. Our character is the spiritual quality of our mind, thoughts, our conversion, our love for God and Jesus Christ and our fellow men, our attitude, our humility, the Christian growth that we have made from our trials and tests, and our obedience from keeping Godís Commandments, Statutes and laws, by keeping Godís seventh day Saturday Sabbath and His seven annual Holy Day Festivals. Our prayers and Bible study and even our tithing has an effect on our character.

Our conversion is the process of repentance, baptism, accepting Jesus Christ as our savior, receiving the gift of Godís Holy Spirt (Acts 2:38). Looking forward in hope to the first and better resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:50-58, Hebrews 1:35). Being a part of Kingdom of God that Jesus Christ will establish on the earth for a 1,000 years and will rule as King of kings and Lord of lords. And we will be with Him to help Him rule during the millennium.

A very important item in laying up treasures in heaven is our good works toward our brethren and our neighbors. Jesus, in Matthew 25 gives three parables in which we must be prepared, perform and do good works. God notices how we treat our family, brethren and our neighbors.

In Conclusion: Letís focus in on Jesusí last statement in verse 21, "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

What we deem as valuable shows where our heart is. Our attitude about our treasures involves our character.

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