Bible Reading: Genesis 14:1-16:16 / Matthew 5:43-6:24 / Psalm 6:1-10
Webster defines a treasure as something valuable such as money, jewels, gold or silver that is hidden or kept in a safe place. A treasure is not always restricted to wealth but includes anything that we value such as relationships, possessions or talents. Treasures are those things that we highly esteem and consider to be very important and excellent.
Jesus acknowledged men’s desires to accumulate earthly treasures. The treasures of the world are not evil yet they can be very misleading and futile. Jesus said, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal.” (Matthew 6:19) Every earthly treasure is susceptible to destruction and loss. Clothing fabric is not immune from moths. Rust silently, consistently, naturally and certainly will destroy metals. Thieves can carry away the rest of our earthly treasures that the moth and rust does not destroy.
Worldly riches offer no surety or guarantee as they decay and are temporal. Jesus tells us, “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven…” (6:20) The things of God are gracious, true and eternal. Salvation, love, forgiveness, holiness, peace and the promises of God are not held hostage or destroyed by the forces of this world.
A dilemma and struggle Christians face is a desire or discipline to be people of prayer, generosity, obedience and faithfulness. Their hearts grow cold and indifferent to the things of God. The seat of their emotions, desires and passions are not drawn to heavenly things but earthly things. Many give up thinking they are not capable or committed enough to deny earthly things and pursue heavenly things.
Jesus explains that the struggle is not with our heart but with our treasure, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (6:21) Our treasure is the thing we value and our heart is the thing we desire. Our hearts are not to be the driving force in our lives as they are easily manipulated and governed. Man’s hearts can be wooed and fashioned purely by emotions as we can “fall in love” one day and “fall out of love” soon afterwards. If we make judgments in life by only following the desires of our heart, our hearts will deceive us every time.
Our treasure, valuing the things of God, will affect the desires and passions of our heart. This world is enticing but when we value God, earthly things will lose their hold and our hearts will be drawn to the things of God. The real issue is not how much of the world we possess but how much the worldly things possess us.
Whatever we treasure and esteem, our hearts will follow with love and affection. A treasure in earth chains the heart with it to this world. Treasuring the things of God governs our hearts and prepares us for eternity. If our heart is not in the right place, we don’t have a heart problem but a treasure problem…it’s all about the treasure!
Pastor James Clark has pastored Calvary Assembly since 1985. He is blessed with his wife Yvonne, six children, two son-in-laws, a beautiful granddaughter and hopefully many more grandchildren to follow!