Do not lay up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven. Matthew 6:19-20
There are material goods which Jesus identifies as “treasures upon earth.” And there are immaterial goods which Jesus calls “treasures in heaven.” Treasures upon earth have two characteristics.
First, all natural things decay. What rust doesn’t destroy, moths or termites probably will. Second, because of the value of earthly treasures, there is always a concern for security. It’s hard to be anxiety-free if we are worried about our possessions. The more we possess, the more we worry and the more we cause others to covet, hence the reason why “thieves break in and steal.”
On the other hand, treasures in heaven are beyond the reach of thieves and secure from the destruction of moths and rust. Paul puts it this way: “Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come” (1 Timothy 4:7,8).
What do we treasure in our heart? What would we exchange for love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control? Would we exchange these qualities for a new car, a cabin in the hills, a boat in the marina, exceptional status at the top of the corporate ladder?
Achievement is determined by who or what we serve. There is a moral healthiness and simple, unaffected goodness present in the single-minded person which is absent in the one serving many masters. Jesus said, “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life,…” (Matthew 6:24,25).
There will be no peace serving two masters. To whichever master we yield, by that master we shall be controlled. Perhaps we need to take stock of our own lives and reassess our priorities. As we see the Day of the Lord approaching, let’s make sure our focus, our allegiance, all our love is focused on Jesus Christ.