This week has been somewhat challenging as I’ve tried to overcome negative emotions such as discouragement, depression and loneliness. In our Christian walk everyday won’t be victorious. There will be ups, downs, peaks and valleys. I feel that I need to say that for anyone who is struggling and feeling guilty because you’re under the impression that you shouldn’t have negative feelings or go through anything because you’re a Christian. Take comfort, you are not alone and you don’t have to feel guilty. But you can’t stay in that place. It is in the down times that we need to pray more, pull closer to God or even seek Christian counseling if necessary. I know many people don’t want to get counseling. But sometimes it’s necessary. It’s nothing of which to be ashamed.
As I was reading an article on how to combat loneliness, one of the scriptural references it gave was Matthew 6:19-21.
It says the following:
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
As I read the verses, I was hung up on the phrase “treasures in heaven”. I’ve heard this and read this passage more times than I can count. But for some reason just that one little phrase tugged at my heart. What does it really mean to have “treasures in heaven”?
As I pondered this phrase and the verses as a whole, I couldn’t help but think about the story of the rich young ruler. He comes to Jesus and asks Jesus what must he do to have eternal life. Jesus answers him by saying, sell all of your possessions, give to the poor and come follow me. Then you will have treasure in heaven. (Matthew 19:16-22, Mark 10:17-27, Luke 18:18-23)
Some people may take this passage as an indication that God wants us to be poor, hungry and destitute. But that would be the incorrect interpretation of this passage. It’s not wrong to have goals. It’s not wrong to have money and nice possessions. This passage is more about us checking our heart. Jesus told him to sell his possession because he knew that the young rulers heart was tied to those possessions instead of the things of God. The “treasures in heaven” this particular passage speaks of are Christ and eternal life. Then the passage goes on to say that “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
What can we learn?
- The most valuable possessions we can have is Christ and eternal life. This is our treasure! It’s a treasure because it’s invaluable! You can put a price on living IN Christ and living with him in eternity! All of the money and possessions in the world can’t compare to this treasure.
- Our hearts should be focused on Christ and eternal life not the things of this current world. Again, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have goals, money or any nice possessions. It just means that those things shouldn’t be more important or take the place of Christ and his plans for us. Money or possessions are not our source. Therefore, we shouldn’t depend on them or idolize them. Those things are passing away. But Christ is forever. (Colossians 3:1-3)
How does having this perspective help us?
- First, it gives us hope that what we are experiencing now is only for a short time in comparison to spending eternity with Jesus. No matter what the something is, negative emotions, financial difficulties, things not going as we planned, loneliness, depression, or discouragement, it’s only for a short while when we think of forever in eternity. (2 Corinthians 4:17:18)
- Second, we have the comfort of knowing that we can take our issues to Christ, our treasure, who is in heaven praying for us, interceding to the Father for us, cheering for us, wanting us to succeed. He knows how we feel. He understands the things we suffer. For we do not have a high priest who doesn’t understand our issues and the things that we suffer. (Hebrews 4:15)
- Third, if we put our focus on our treasures in heaven, our minds, our spirits and our bodies ALL of our being is being poured out for the furthering of the Gospel and the work of God. God has purpose for our lives. (Ephesians 2:10)
Paul says it this way in in 2 Corinthians 4:7-10 (one of my favorite scriptures):
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.
Do you need to re-prioritize some people or things so that Christ will be your treasure?
Have the motives behind wanting to achieve a goal been about you or Christ?
Has your primary focus been about the things of heaven or of this world?
Where is Your Treasure? Be Blessed
*Scripture references from BibleGateway.com