“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on Earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matt. 6:19-21)
Many of you are probably feeling pretty smug about now, saying to yourselves, “I don’t have to worry about this! I sure don’t have much on Earth, so I MUST be storing my treasures up in heaven!” But are you really?
Let’s take a look at the word “treasure”. Though the bible specifically mentions the word “money” in verse 24 (“you cannot serve God and money”), the dictionary definition of treasure gives a bit broader definition: “Something considered especially precious or valuable”; and “to accumulate; hoard; to value highly”. According to this definition then, “treasure” can be money, but it also includes anything that you consider precious or valuable, anything that you value highly, hoard or accumulate.
“But,” you say, “I have NOTHING of value. I don’t accumulate anything! I don’t have the money to accumulate anything. I’m off the hook!” – or are you? What about your pride? Your desire for self-acceptance? Your need to protect yourself? What about your desire to have fun, to “relax”, to indulge in food or drink? Do you place these higher than God? What about your area of expertise and experience? Is it more important to you that others know your area of expertise than that they know you are a Christian? What about your image? Your professionalism? Your desire to be accepted? Is there anything that stands in the way of you spreading the gospel? If so, all of these things can become our “treasures” – something you value highly, more highly than your friend, Jesus!
Jesus goes on to tell us in vs. 22 of Matt 6: “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.” (Matt. 6:22-24)
In other words, whatever is the “apple” of your eye dictates what is inside of you. If your treasure, the “apple” of your eye, is good, you will be full of light. But if it is bad, then you are full of darkness, the light is not in you, and you cannot “Let your light so shine before men” (Matt. 5:16).
Where are you laying up treasures, my friends? Think about it. Don’t let anything stop you from being “full of light”!