Thursday, April 12, 2012

What is our "treasure"?

“Stop storing up treasures for yourselves on earth, where moths and rust destroy and thieves break in and steal.  Instead, store up treasures for yourselves in heaven, where moths and rust don’t destroy and thieves don’t break in and steal. Your heart will be where your treasure is.”   Matt. 6:19-21 GW

 Let's consider what Jesus means by our "treasures".  The word itself can refer to anything that we might store up as precious to ourselves.  But it can also refer to the place where we keep that which is precious to us - that is, as a "storehouse" or a "treasury" (Matthew 12:35). 

I believe that, in verses 19-20, Jesus is using the word in the sense of the things that we store up as precious to ourselves.  He is talking to us about where it is that we keep that which is most precious to us.   In speaking of the place in which our treasures are stored, He is also speaking - by implication - of the treasures themselves.

Let's think about what Jesus means by our "hearts".   He obviously means more than simply the muscle that pumps in our chests.  He is speaking of the very center of our being - the seat of our emotions, our wishes, and our will.  He is speaking of that in us that longs and desires after something. 

He is speaking of that in us which loves a "treasure" so much that it moves our entire being to seek after it. We devote our attention to the thing we want most and will compromise our relationship with God to fulfill our fleshly desires, emotions, egos and dreams.  We will pay whatever the cost may be to get what we crave.  Whether that cost be in neglect of relationships, a lack of reading the Word, prayer, time with the Holy Spirit and a fruitless existence; the price is NOT too high for the sake of emotions, pride, ego, desires and selfishness.  The cost is willingly and cheerfully paid to fulfill the emotions and desires of the heart!

You might say that our hearts are like the needle of a compass; and that needle is always pointing in the direction of that place in which our treasure is kept. 

What is our "treasure"? 

Jesus is not specific; because He is giving us the broad principle that wherever our treasure is - whatever it may be - there will our hearts be.  If our treasure is of earthly things and is kept in earthly treasuries, then the longings of our hearts will never rise higher than earth.

If our treasure is of spiritual things and is kept in heavenly places, then our hearts will be in heaven even though we ourselves are still walking upon this earth.

That leads me to a suggestion of what our "treasure" is supposed to be. Our treasure is to be - above all else - Jesus Himself.  He Himself is to be our rich treasure.   

The Psalmist prayed to God and said:

Whom have I in heaven but you?
I desire you more than anything on earth.”  Psalm 73:25 NLT

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