The Things We Treasure
Matt. 6:19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Jesus knew how easy it was to treasure the things of this world. His comments here focus on having things made of fabric and metal. The wealthy in Jesus’ day had several outfits of clothing — the poor did not. Clothing that goes unworn is susceptible to moths and metal objects unused or uncared for — to rust. In other words, he is speaking to those who have more than what they need and what happens to those items when they are stored up and unused. But maybe those aren't just physical robes but there are also the robes of office. Moths could also destroy these as well!
The word used here for rust could also be worm, which could be a reference back to the manna of old which could only be used on a daily basis. Too much manna and it turned to worms. The entire concept is one of complete and total dependence upon God who will supply our needs.
Real treasure is that which is incorruptible. Heavenly treasure is that which is transferable from earth and into eternity. This is found in relationships both with God and man and is defined by love of God and love of neighbor. This treasure cannot be stolen, nor can it be corrupted by earthly forces. We will be defined by the things that we treasure.
In the last five years we have moved twice. I really don’t like moving and all the work it entails but one thing it makes you do — is that you sort through all your stuff. Should you move the “stuff” or not? There tends to be a major purging with each move because as you look at the “stuff” you realize that there is so much that you don’t need. There are all the things you haven’t even noticed for a couple of years. Why do you have them? Why should you have them? Who knows! I love cleaning things out and getting rid of lots of stuff and just getting down to what we really need.
Spiritually we need to have these times of evaluation as well. Earthly treasures may not just be things that we accumulate but it may be the ways in which our calendars are filled. What has become most important to us? Is Church attendance still a treasure to us and our lives? What about spending time in the word? How much time do we spend in prayer?
The things that we treasure will define who we are and what we become. Whether we want to admit it or not our treasure pulls at our heartstrings. Therefore our heart can be given away to a sports team, a new car, a new home, another trip or to our well-deserved “free time.” In the meantime there is a world that desperately needs to know the love of Jesus. Sadly, they won’t experience the love of Jesus because the hearts of God’s people are too tied up with their treasures.
Lord, please help me to treasure the things that you would treasure. Amen.
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