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Seeds of the Kingdom

Riches

by John Berry

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.
Matthew 6:19, NIV

We were with some friends visiting a large town on the south coast of England. This town has an active boating and shipping community in its harbour. We sat down on the quay wall to eat our fish and chips, and looked at the boat yard just opposite, where some large and very modern motor yachts were being built. There were about twenty under construction from what we could see, and no doubt others elsewhere on the extensive site.

We speculated on the costs of purchasing one of these desirable boats and reckoned that there were many millions of pounds’ worth of luxury goods sitting there in the harbour, just waiting for their new owners to enjoy them.

By contrast, immediately in front of us was an old barge tied to the quay. It had obviously seen many years of hard work and damage from salt and sand, as its steel and paintwork were badly eroded. It appeared to be still functional, but only just.

I was reminded of the verse in Matthews’ Gospel quoted at the start of this Seed ‘Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal’. I’m sure that originally the barge looked as pristine as the motor yachts, but, sadly, no more. I wonder how long it will take for the fibre-glassed hulls of the yachts to be cracked, scratched, and lose their splendour.

Jesus tells us not to store up treasures on earth. Yet so much of our modern life is focussed on short-term gain and wealth. It’s far better to look towards eternity, and ensure that we have treasures in heaven which are everlasting, and which we don’t have to pay for. Jesus has made the investment, so that we can all have eternal life and enjoy the blessings of God for ever.

Perhaps it’s time for us to review our riches and re-prioritise our investments. Much of our world’s population can’t even think of hiring a motor yacht, let alone buy one. But we all have the opportunity to store up treasures in heaven, with the promise of everlasting joy to be ours one day.

Prayer: Father God, thank You for Your promise to us of great treasure with You in eternity. We know it won’t be like our carnal pleasures, such as having boats. It will be so much better, and will last for ever. Help us to keep a right perspective on our possessions. Amen.

John Berry has recently stepped down from the full time team at Ellel Glyndley Manor, where he has been involved for almost seven years, before which he pastored UK Baptist churches for 30 years. He continues on the Associate Ministry and Teaching teams at Glyndley Manor, where his wife Jennie continues on team. They have been married for nearly 43 years and have seven grandchildren. John is also an elder in a local church.

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