“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.” Matthew 6:19-20
Jesus makes it clear that you can only store up treasure in one of two places: on earth, where it can be destroyed, or in heaven, where it cannot be destroyed. In the original Greek language of the New Testament, the word for “store up” and the word for “treasures” is exactly the same word. So what Jesus literally said was, “Do not treasure your treasures in the wrong place.”
What is a treasure? Anything tangible that has a price tag on it is obviously a treasure. However, treasures don’t necessarily have to have a price tag. If you can see it, touch it, measure it, buy it, or enjoy it, it has the potential to be a treasure. Obviously, Jesus is primarily talking about our stuff. It is not wrong to have material things. Everything we have is a gift from God. We should be grateful for the resources that God entrusts to us, but we should never worship the gifts in place of the Giver.
Notice that I used the word “resources” to describe the material wealth that God gives. According to Webster’s Dictionary, a resource is a source of supply or support; an available means. I use this word because resources are intended to be used, not stored up and hoarded. The same is true for material wealth. In Matthew 6:19-20, Jesus is not concerned with what we have, but rather with what we do with what we have.
Jesus didn’t say we could treasure our treasures in both heaven and on earth. Instead, He said to treasure our treasures in heaven instead of on earth. So how do we know the difference? How can we tell when we are storing up treasures on earth and not in heaven? If making money and spending money is more important to you than giving money you are treasuring your treasure. We all must choose: Treasures in heaven or treasures on earth?
In giving us this choice, Jesus has shown that we can trade that which is temporary for that which is eternal. We can actually spend our lives investing in something that we will never lose. When we leave this planet, the only thing we will take with us is what we invested in God’s work and in God’s people. So here is the question: Where is your treasure? Is it in the house that you live in or the heaven you will go to?
Jesus, Please help me to spend my life on what truly matters. If I am storing up treasures on this earth, please convict me and show me how to loosen my grip on the things of this world. In Your name I pray, Amen.