Sunday, October 28, 2007

Treasure in the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:19-21)
Jesus is not just talking about what you do with your disposable income, the money left over after you have paid all your bills. He’s not making an appeal at offering time (though that is how many preachers use this verse). No, He is doing something far more reaching; something radical, in fact. He is getting down to the root of how we live our lives — our priorities and the things we value.

“STOP laying up for yourselves treasures on earth” (that is the force of His statement). There is to be no more of it — at all. Why? Because it does not last. It is easily corrupted and fades away quickly, and in the end, we will find that we have been robbed.

The Greek word for “treasure” is thesauros. The Septuagint, which is a very early Greek translation of the Old Testament, uses thesauros to translate the Hebrew word for “storehouse.” Jesus is literally saying, “Stop storing up for yourselves storehouses on earth.”

Now, it is also important to notice what Jesus is not saying. He is not telling us to stop laying up treasure for ourselves, for He goes on to say, “But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven.” He wants us to have storehouses, and God promises to “command the blessing” on the storehouses of those who honor Him and keep His commandments (Deuteronomy 28:8). Rather, it is the purpose of our storehouses that needs to change. We need to start operating in the purpose of the kingdom heaven, the will of God being done on earth as it is in heaven. It requires everything we are and have, but it brings great reward, as Jesus shows us in this brief parable:
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. (Matthew 13:44)
The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure, a storehouse full of wonderful things. But notice where it is hidden: “in a field,” that is, on earth. This treasury is from heaven, but it is on earth.

“Laying up treasure” all comes down to the heart, for “where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” The priorities of your life and the things you value will be reflected in everything you do and all you have. Will they reveal the corruptions of earth, or the glories of the kingdom of heaven on earth?

Store up your treasures in the kingdom of heaven, and it will be a blessing on earth.



The Kingdom of Heaven on Earth

The Kingdom of Heaven on Earth
Keys to the Kingdom of God
in the Gospel of Matthew

by Jeff Doles

Preview with Amazon’s “Look Inside.”

Available in paperback and Kindle (Amazon), epub (Google and iTunes) and PDF.