“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)
Today we come across some pretty famous verses in the bible, and I think some of the most challenging to our western world. And today’s devotion is short, because the passage gets right to the heart of the issue, that then requires you the reader to do the heavy lifting in your head; to do some serious reflective reading.
By way of brief explanation, this passage compares storing treasures on earth with treasures in heaven. In talking about treasures on earth, Matthew is talking about wealth; the treasures we amass whilst living on this planet. And to understand what Matthew means by heavenly treasures, we need to remember that this passage comes after the Lord’s prayer where we pray for God’s kingdom to come, His will be done, for Him to sustain us and for our sins to be forgiven. In other words, the thematic context that ‘heavenly riches’ exists in, reveals to us that it is talking about working towards the Kingdom. Praising God, doing God’s will, relying on him, humbling ourselves and our sinfulness, and looking to bring others to know him.
The passage gives us two reasons not to store up earthly treasures but instead to store up heavenly treasures. Firstly, earthy treasures are temporary, they fade, and they are fragile. Why would you bother putting time and energy into storing them up? They are meaningless and fickle. Secondly, if you are a christian with an eternal outlook on life, then it’s warning you that storing up treasure on earth, invests your heart here on earth, and not in heaven. Quite often we hear people talk about ‘false dichotomies’. But I think what the bible is doing here today, is presenting a true dichotomy. Your heart cannot both be attached to earthly treasure and heavenly treasure.
So, this leaves us with a few things to ponder.
Where does your heart lie? What sort of things does your wandering mind go to when you’ve nothing else to think about?
Do you think there is something else after this life?
Why do you love money?
Joe Hockey, club chaplain
first published 23-6-2018