Where Are You Laying Up Your Treasure?

Matthew 6:19-21 (RSV)
"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."

Many people in society today, even professing Christians, live their lives in a continual pursuit of wealth and things. It is the primary focus of their lives. They wish to earn more money to get more things. Enough is never enough. "How much more money do you need?", the millionaire is asked. He responds, "Just a little bit more." "How many more things do you need?" He says again, "Just a few more."

Contentment never comes because many are caught in a vicious cycle that places the focus on the perishable things of this world rather than on the imperishable things above. Scripture teaches that as surely as we brought nothing into this world when we were born, we will take nothing with us when we die. We should be content with what the Lord has blessed us with. Food, clothing, and shelter are all gifts from God. He must be given the praise, glory, and honor for these blessings. And this should motivate us to not only be content with what we have, but to be more generous to others in need. But many, even professed Christians, fail in this area and fall into the deception that the pursuit of money and material things will bring contentment. Alas, in the end it brings only ruin and destruction. So well does 1 Timothy 6:3-11 encapsulate this concept and how Christians should live:

"If any one teaches otherwise and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching which accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit, he knows nothing; he has a morbid craving for controversy and for disputes about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, base suspicions, and wrangling among men who are depraved in mind and bereft of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain. There is great gain in godliness with contentment; for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world; but if we have food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and hurtful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all evils; it is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced their hearts with many pangs. But as for you, man of God, shun all this; aim at righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness."

As followers of Christ, we should seek the things that are above rather than those things that are earthly. (Colossians 3:2) We should have an eternal perspective that causes us to lay up our treasure in heaven where it is imperishable. The pursuit of earthly treasure not only takes our focus away from Jesus Christ and heaven, but it is futile because earthly treasure is perishable and cannot be taken with you when you die.

How do we lay up treasure in heaven? By living a life of thankfulness to God for the many blessing we receive from Him. By being content with what we have. And by having a generous spirit. In this way we may live a life that is characterized by righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfast, and gentleness. In short, a life that brings glory and honor to God.

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