But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. — Matthew 6:20-21
The surprise of my success left me stunned! My ridiculously low bid had resulted in a wonderful addition to my collection. Now my hand was shaking so much I could barely write a legible check. My auction buddy and I laughingly call ourselves the “bargain treasure-hunters.” That day I earned my title.
As I placed my bargain in the car trunk, I told God that I really appreciated this unexpected earthly blessing. Since then, I have thanked Him each time I’ve admired it or shared it with another collector.
Whenever I enjoy my treasure, however, I am also reminded that it will eventually crumble and decay, no matter how carefully I, or my surviving family, preserve it. So my thoughts always return to my treasures that will last.
Christ’s Sermon on the Mount, which includes today’s text, taught His listeners about the treasures of Heaven. These treasures will far surpass the best of earthly ones that we accumulate down here below. It is so logical and reasonable that our true treasures are stored in the place where we intend to reside in eternity. Heaven is not the place for earthly treasures — they are appropriate for use on earth only. With this in mind, I won’t be crushed if I should lose my earthly treasure or if Christ should ask me to let it go for His sake.
Laying up treasures in Heaven is like making a spiritual investment. Today I need to invest in prayer for my family and friends who do not know Christ as Savior. I need to pray that my sisters and brothers in Christ will remain true to their calling. I need to pray and listen for God’s direction in my life and service for Him. In following after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, and meekness, I am not only laying up treasures in Heaven for myself, but I will surely influence others to invest wisely for their spiritual futures.
In 1 Timothy 6:7, Paul reminds Timothy in very simple terms, “We brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.” Praise be to God, however, that we can lay up treasures in Heaven before we leave this earth.
Now that is a blessed bargain!
In this portion of the Sermon on the Mount, Christ dealt with a subject that dated back to the Garden of Eden — that of choices.
After warning the people to avoid coveting the praise of men, Christ continued His discourse by warning against coveting the treasures of the world. Every man has something that he makes his treasure — that which his heart is set upon. The wealth of a person of that day was generally measured by changes of raiment, silver and gold, gems, lands, and oil, or anything that improved the comfort or quality of life. A notable display was of great importance in proving one’s wealth; an essential part of this display would have been splendid articles of dress. Such elaborate attire would be vulnerable to the attack of the moth, an insect that eats holes in fabric. The word translated as rust signified anything that ate into or consumed one’s property. The houses in the East were often made of clay hardened in the sun, sometimes combined with stones. Thus, it was comparatively easy for thieves to dig through the wall and break into the house in that way. Christ indicated through these specific examples that all earthly treasure would waste away.
Christ pointed out the requirement for man to choose between a focus upon earthly things or a focus upon God. He laid down a general maxim: no man can serve two masters, for then his affection and allegiance would be divided. He then proceeded to apply this maxim, telling his listeners that they could not serve both God and mammon. (Mammon was a Syriac name given to an idol worshipped as the god of riches and thus had the meaning of “gain.”)
Christ also warned his listeners against being consumed with worry over the things of life. The phrase “take no thought” did not mean they were not to have forethought, but it meant “have no anxious concern” regarding the needs of this life. Anxious care could trouble their minds to the point that doubts would creep in; this was the danger to which Christ was alluding.
(Hannah’s Bible Outlines - Used by permission per WORDsearch)
II. The proclamations of the King
D. The message of the King
2. The relationship of the King to the Law
c. Repudiation of Pharisaic practice
(4) Treasure (6:19-34)
(a) Two kinds of treasures (6:19-20)
(b) The necessity of a choice (6:21-24)
(c) Trust the Father for temporal necessities (6:25-30)
(d) Seek eternal treasures (6:31-34)
(5) Judging (7:1-6)
In a world where there is so much emphasis on materialism, our commitment to focus on heavenly treasures will be noticeable. Thank God for His great investment plan!