Friday, September 23, 2005

Laying Up Treasure ~ Your Account in Heaven

Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven. (Matthew 6:20)

And my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19)
In his letter to the Philippians, Paul revealed that heaven is also where our provision comes from. God supplies our needs according to His riches in glory--in heaven. Stop thinking of heaven as “up there,” as if it were in outer space. No, it is much closer to us than that and our relationship to it is very intimate.
  • Heaven is where we were born (John 3:3; “born again” literally means “born from above”).
  • Heaven is where our citizenship is (Philippians 3:20).
  • Heaven is where we are already seated in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:6).
That is why Jesus tell us to lay up for ourselves treasures in heaven. We lay up our treasures there, and all our needs are met from there. But notice that, although it is our treasure we lay up, it is His riches that come from there to supply our needs. It is a wonderful transmutation. Our treasure my not be anywhere near enough to take care of us in fact, it isn’tbut God’s riches in glory in Christ Jesus certainly are.

Not many people catch this, but Paul is writing to his partners, those who have been supporting him in ministry. Go back a couple of verses and see:
Now you Philippians know also that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church shared with me concerning giving and receiving but you only. For even in Thessalonica you sent aid once and again for my necessities. Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that abounds to your account. Indeed I have all and abound. I am full, having received from Epaphroditus the things sent from you, a sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God. And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:15-29).
Jesus said, “Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven.” That is exactly what the church at Philippi was doing--laying up treasure for themselves by contributing to Paul‘s ministry. Now, notice that Jesus did not just say, “Lay up treasures in heaven,” but “Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven.” In other words, we have accounts in heaven. That’s what Paul was talking about. “Giving and receiving” is the language of transaction and accounting, and Paul specifically speaks of the fruit, or increase, abounding to the account of the Philippian believers who partnered with him in ministry.

Whenever you partner with the ministry of the gospel, you are laying up treasures for your account in heaven. This account is not for you in the “sweet by and by,” but for the “here and now.” When you lay up treasure in your heavenly account, you can be very sure that God will meet all your needs according to His riches in gloryHis heavenly account by Christ Jesus.