Jesus told his followers to avoid storing up “treasures on earth.” These are things that don’t last—things like homes, money, and material things.
Are they evil in and of themselves? Of course not. As a means to an end, they can be useful. But as ends in themselves, they can be distracting and devastating.
Instead, in Matthew 6:20, Jesus says we should store up “treasures in heaven.” He’s referring to things that don’t rust or fade. Treasures in heaven are things that honour God but are invisible—things like faith, redemption, godly priorities, and the fruit of the Spirit that is growing within you (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control).
This is a reminder we all need, especially because we live in such a material world. One of the messages our society preaches is that we’re supposed to live in the moment, and get what we want when we want it so we can enlarge our personal happiness in the short term.
But according to Jesus, that’s missing the point.
One man was teaching another how to play the board game Monopoly. The new guy had never played it. But he picked it up quick and accumulated boardwalks, homes, properties and money out the wazoo.
At the end of the game he was so incredibly happy. He started shoving all of the Monopoly money into his pockets while speculating about the new stuff he was going to buy.
That’s when the first man explained the misunderstanding. The Monopoly money only had value while they were playing. When the game was over it was worthless and went back in the box.
How many of us approach life like this? If we’re not careful, we can spend our time, money and energy on things that have no lasting value. One day it will all go back in the box.
Look at your life. Don’t store up treasures on earth. Instead, store up treasures in heaven.
By Matthew Ruttan
- Today’s “Up!” is based on my Sunday message at Westminster. It was called “When possessions possess you.” You can listen in here. Enjoy!