I have always been fascinated by today’s verse about treasure in heaven. What did Jesus mean? What will treasure in heaven be like? Is it real or just a metaphor for something rather vague and insubstantial?
I remember quite vividly the day when I started to think about this. I was a teenager living at home and I overheard my parents having a conversation in the kitchen. They are both Christians and very generous towards others, but on this occasion my father wanted to give money to some cause and my mum was questioning it. I’ve never forgotten my father’s reply. He said to her, quite seriously, “but we will need to have some money in our heavenly bank account when we get there.”
I was amazed and thought, “Wow! He believes that treasure in heaven is a real thing. I wonder if it is?”
Somehow the idea of it attracts me more than anything else. If there is treasure to be had in heaven, I want it. Jesus says it doesn’t happen by itself. We have to store it up actively. And he is not speaking here about our time or talents (they come into another parable). He is speaking here about earthly money, which can buy things that might go rusty (cars), get moths in it (clothes) or be stolen.
Fortunately for us, treasure in heaven can be stored up by anyone because the amount of money is not the issue. The value of our gift is determined by the heavenly ‘exchange rate’. Its value increases with the value of that money to us personally.
Jesus explains about that in Luke 21: 1-3, where we read this story: “As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. 'Truly I tell you' he said, 'this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.'”
Paul spoke of the same heavenly account –the one in which we should store our treasure - when he thanked the Philippian church for their gift. He wrote: ‘Even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid more than once when I was in need. Not that I desire your gifts; what I desire is that more be credited to your account’ (Philippians 4:16-17).
We would all be wise to pray about where we make our investments these days, so that we get a good return for the kingdom of God and as much treasure as possible stored where we will have it forever. No thief steals from the bank of heaven and that bank will never collapse. Praise God, there is somewhere safe!
Prayer: O Lord, forgive me if I have not believed Your Word about storing up treasure in heaven. Help me to trust in You and in Your Word more than I trust in this world. Today I want to trust my future into Your hands. Help me to trust You enough to invest my money in Your kingdom, which is where I will be spending all my future days. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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