Hi, friends. In a sermon I gave during June while my pastor was out of town, I focused on Matthew 6:19-21. A 15-20 minute sermon is three or four times the length I would make a blog post, so I wanted to condense it and share some imagery from the message with y’all.
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:19-21, NIV)
We see luxuries (wants rather than needs) as “treasures.” Our phones, cars, clothes, jewelry, technology, etc. are treasures. This is a worldly understanding of treasures.
Jesus (God in human form) did not value wealth. On the contrary, He warned rich people that it would be hard for them to enter the kingdom of heaven. [After all, those who have much withhold much when they aren’t generous; with great power comes great responsibility.]
What does God value? There’s a lot to say on that question but I’ll point to one of my favorite Bible verses that succinctly spells out the fruits of the Holy Spirit of God:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23, NIV)
Since the exercise of these qualities generally requires others (loving a brother, being patient with a sister, being gentle with a child), it’s safe to say that God cares how we live in the day-to-day and how we treat others. After all, our attitudes and actions reflect our hearts and souls, which we voluntarily give to God if we accept salvation.
So, essentially, building up treasures in heaven means being guided by the Holy Spirit/following in Jesus’ footsteps/living for God in the day-to-day. As our life experiences culminate, we are hopefully being refined/perfected/sanctified daily.
Imagine we have two plots of land–a world plot and a heaven plot. A tower of bricks sits on each plot, but we are the carpenters. The bricks represent our attitudes and actions.
Every time we deliberately tore someone down, lied, withheld forgiveness, forgot that everyone is welcome to the table of salvation…we added a brick on the world plot.
Every time we loved someone, controlled our tempers, prayed when we felt hopeless, repented for our sins while praising God…we added a brick on the salvation plot.
Where are we building our treasures? The amazing grace of salvation is that, every time we repent for our sins, Jesus comes in like a wrecking ball to destroy the house we’re building on the world plot. The salvation plot, meanwhile, constantly awaits a carpenter–an imperfect, inadequate person who accepts God’s grace–to continue building.
Thanks for reading! God bless you!
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