Friday, February 13, 2009

Treasures in Heaven

"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasure in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." - Matthew 6: 19-21

It is remarkable how a change in circumstances can result in additional insights. For example, this section of Matthew 6: 19-34 is one known to many people: treasure in heaven, don't worry about food or drink, birds of the air, flowers of the earth, seek ye first His kingdom and righteousness - one of the more famous passages of the Gospel and the Sermon on the Mount. And it is applied - and rightly so - to field of our finances, how we use our money, where our heart is, and seeking God's kingdom above all else.

And then you lose your job.

It hit me at 2 AM on a Thursday morning that I have not apprehended the full import of the verses. We think of solely of money - our society and economy is based on money. But the reality is, that the Bible teaches that we will be rewarded for acts of service and obedience as well as for what we do with our money. It that is true - and it is - when we speak of storing up treasures in heaven, it is not just something that we do with money, but something that we do with our lives.

So the command is not just only for our financial lives, but for every part of our lives: store up treasures in Heaven: Obey the Word; Manifest the fruits of the righteousness; be holy as the Lord is holy; make decisions based not just on financial output but also on spiritual output. This is much harder for me, because frankly money is something I can do and be done with. These other things are much more intense, because they are not done and forgotten, but are to become part of the framework of my life, which means that I have to root out sin, selfishness, and self-centeredness - something that I am not good about at all.

A second thought that occurs is what a grace of God this is: He does not base His rewards solely on what is given (elsewise all without money would be in a hard place), but on our relationship to Him and His relationship through us to others. In Heaven, as has oft been said, it matters not what you were but what you did with what you were given - and obedience, being filled with the Spirit, being Holy, and showing love are things which neither cost a cent to perform or manifest - but result in eternal rewards.

I guess the song is true - a little change (of perspective) will do you good...

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