Treasures in Heaven (Part 1)
A topical study of the gospels reveals that Jesus spoke on the subject of money or materialism often. He evidently considered the love of money and material things to be a serious problem that needed to be addressed continually (cf. I Tim. 6:10). Men haven't changed much in the last 2000 years--the problem still remains today. Carefully consider His words in Matthew 6:19-21 - "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 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."

In the first century, the idea of a secure bank was unknown, and the safest way to keep one's money was to bury it. However, doing such would subject the money (which was composed of metal) to rust and corrosion. One could choose to keep his treasure above ground but then took the risk of having it stolen by a thief breaking in. In actuality, the Greek words here literally indicate that the "thieves dig through." This statement is accurate since houses of that day were frequently made of loose stone or sun-dried bricks. It was easier for a thief to dig through the wall than attempt to break through a more secure door. Thus, there really was no absolute way to protect one's physical treasures. Any of them could be stolen, metal was subject to corrosion, and clothing could be destroyed by moths.

To "treasure" something is to love that object more than anything else. To "treasure" the things of this world is foolish because they are both uncertain and temporary. Happiness may be found in such "treasures" for a while, but not true, lasting joy.

These verses do not teach that it is sinful to be materially rich in the present world. To be rich is dangerous, but not sinful (Matt. 19:23,24). However, this passage does teach that one must "possess" whatever material goods he is blessed with and not vice versa. To possess a large amount of money or resources is not wrong, but to love those things and consider them to be a "treasure" is to fall into Satan's trap (cf. I Tim. 6:7-10; Luke 12:15; Heb. 13:5). One with such a mentality will hoard these possessions to the harm of others and himself. Instead, those who are rich should be careful to remember that they can only trust in God and not in themselves or their earthly treasure. Let them do much good with the things the Lord has entrusted them with (I Tim. 6:17-19)!

Jesus makes a strong case for laying up treasure in heaven while exposing the folly of hoarding earthly treasure by contrasting the corrupting forces of this world with the security of heaven. To practice righteousness to be seen of God and to bring glory to His name is to make a deposit in God's heavenly "bank." There is great security in knowing that such treasures cannot be stolen or damaged. The riches of heaven are eternally secure for the one who continues to treasure them.

Dear listeners, if one's treasure is on the earth, then whatever happiness he enjoys will be lost forever when he leaves this world. But, if one's treasures are in heaven, then he will find them to be as durable as eternity after he leaves this world. Let us always endeavor to treasure those things of real value, such as truth, influence, conscience, Jesus' church, divine love, salvation, etc. Let us set our minds "on things above, not on things on the earth" (Col. 3:2). Friends, where is your treasure?