Type to search

Treasures:  What do you value most?

Gary Googe Jul 31
Matthew 6:19-21

19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:

20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:

21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. [Emphasis added]

This is not a passage to us today that puts down the general principle of saving and planning for the future.  That it is not!  The context is one where a kingdom on Earth was being promised to Israel.  Had they been receptive to their Messiah, that kingdom with all its glory would have come.  In that kingdom there would be a form of universal prosperity.  People would be provided with everything they needed to live comfortably.  But there’s a general principle we can draw from this passage that applies to us today and in any generation till that time comes.  It is the principle of the importance of not relying on things temporal for our happiness and sense of well-being.  What a sobering principle this passage provides! If in our time we only focus on the things that are temporal, we’re certainly going to miss out on some wonderful blessings we could have gained of God to enjoy forever.  But don’t most people give their primary attention to only those things temporal? They surely do.  They act like the life here is all there is.  The reality of the matter is that our time here is like a grain of sand on a beach, if even that.  Being the material-minded creatures we are, it is hard to imagine the idea of eternity.  We tend to think only of things material and things with a beginning and an end.  But our Lord loved us enough to warn us about that kind of thinking.  Here I’m reminded of a parable Christ once presented.

Luke 12:16-21

16 And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully:

17 And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?

18 And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.

19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.

20 But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?

21 So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God. [Emphasis added]

As with most people, this man’s attention was totally focused on things temporal.  No thought at all appears to have been given to things of eternal value.  What’s the case with you? Have you let the things of this life completely crowd out the idea that there’s more to life than things now? I’m afraid most people have done just that!

Now let’s note some verses that come a little later in that Luke passage.

Luke 12:31-33

31 But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.

What a well-known verse that is! But here again it is Scripture that’s not addressed to us today.  We’re not to be seeking a kingdom on Earth.  That’s something Israel was to do.  Our eternal future is in HeavenThis passage, this entire book of Luke was addressed to the believing remnant of Israel called “the little flock” mentioned in the next verse.

32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

If this verse were addressed to us, you’d be under orders to comply with the next verse in this passage.

33 Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth. [Emphasis added]

Later we find that this is exactly what believers were then doing.

Acts 2:44-45

44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common;

45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. [Emphasis added]

Acts 4:33-35

33 And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.

34 Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold,

35 And laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need. [Emphasis added]

This was the policy Jesus Christ set forth for everyone in that period.

Luke 12:33

33 Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth. [Emphasis added]

As you may recall, this is precisely what our Lord told “the rich young ruler” to do.

Luke 18:22

22 Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me. [Emphasis added

But is this God’s policy for us today? It is not! We are now in what is called The Dispensation of Grace.  We are in a period of time that came about after Israel rejected Jesus of Nazareth as her Messiah.  But again, even though all these passages we’ve just noticed are addressed to Israel and “the little flock,” there are some general principles here that can apply to people in any generation.  The most important one is that our primary attention is not to be on things temporalWe are to prepare for eternity.  Are you doing that?  It is extremely important that we not be misled to believe that this life now is all there is.  But isn’t that where the thinking is of most people? It surely is! Therefore, God loves us enough to provide us with plenty of Scripture that warns us about this.

II Corinthians 4:18

18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. [Emphasis added]

I John 2:15-17

15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever. [Emphasis added]

Isn’t this the philosophy of— “Quickly get as much as you can, and quickly can as much as you can get!”  This surely is the life philosophy of most people.  The reality is that material wealth is idolized by most people.  They may not want to think of themselves as idolaters, but that’s exactly what they are.  It’s just a more sophisticated form of it.

Time is precious! We are all given different amounts of it, but we are all told what to do with it.  The apostle Paul mentions this in his Ephesian letter.  The words around it help us understanding the meaning of it.

Ephesians 5:15-17

15 See then that ye walk circumspectly [AKRIBOS = correctly], not as fools, but as wise,

16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. [Emphasis added]

Are you familiar with the things that are God’s will in your life? Have you grown wise in your understanding of the Bible, God’s Word that has been graciously provided for us? I’m afraid most people have notYes, what Paul tells us here is also mentioned in his letter to the Colossians.

Colossians 4:5

Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. [Emphasis added]

This isn’t talking about man’s wisdom, but God’s wisdom, the wisdom anyone can gain through their study of the ScripturesThat’s why we’ve been commanded to build a life around the study of them.

II Timothy 2:15

15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. [Emphasis added]

I’m afraid most people aren’t doing this.  I live in a very large neighborhood of mainly retirees.  I’ve been told that we have an average of 12 ambulances that come into our neighborhood every day.  Death is near for many! But are they prepared for it? I attend two Bible classes here weekly.  It is made obvious by the comments that are made in discussions that many have spent little time in the study of God’s Word.  It even appears that now they’re trying to play catch up.  But what have they done with all the years God has given them? The answer is simple.  They’ve been almost totally occupied with the things of this world, things temporal that have no eternal value.  Life for them has not been about the pursuit of God’s truth.  This is truly sad to see in people, but it is quite common.

One of the saddest books of the Bible is the book of Ecclesiastes.  There you have what amounts to being King Solomon’s life testimony.  I devoted the final chapter of one of my books to him.  [Discovering God’s Rich Blessings in times of suffering] He had everything this world has to offer but spent most of his life as an “empty” man.  He did have great wisdom God had given him, but not the will to apply it as he should have.  Therefore, he was truly a miserable man.  He expresses that wisdom right along with his misery throughout his writing.  He speaks of the pursuit of happiness as a chasing of the wind.  Then at the end of the writing he sums it all up for us.

Ecclesiastes 12:13

13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. [Emphasis added]

The apostle Paul also has some words of wisdom about this toward the last days of his life on Earth.

I Timothy 6:17

17 Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; [Emphasis added]

I believe every American is “rich in this world” when you compare his situation to that of so many people in other parts of the world.  If nothing else, we’ve all been rich in opportunity.  Whatever we have in material riches, we surely can’t take any of it with us.  But I do know that the applications we make of God’s Word will gain for us eternal riches that’ll be ours to enjoy forever.  How do you suppose this will work out for you? Are you “redeeming the time” God has given you?

II Corinthians 5:10

10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. [Emphasis added]


Share this article:
    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop

    Contact 4Us/2Us

    [super_form id="692"]

    Support Our Ministry


    Your gifts will be a part of the means by which this ministry is supported and sustained.

    Our objective is to give people the truth they need by which to gain salvation and to grow spiritually.

    We very much appreciate your part in this great work.

    Donation amount
    Donation frequency

    Don't worry - your information is safe with us!