Where Is Your Bank Account?
Read Matthew 6:19-21 (ESV)
“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 treasure 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.”
What are some practical ways that we can store up treasures in heaven, rather than on earth?
Consider how you spent your time and money this week. Think about ways that you used your gifts and talents. Based on how you used your God-given resources, where is your bank account? Are you saving up for a better life experience here on earth or are you storing up your treasure in heaven?
In today’s verses, Jesus emphasized that earthly treasures are temporary and vulnerable. We know it’s true because we spend so much time and money trying to protect our earthly assets. We put locks on our doors, we purchase insurance policies, we put up security cameras. But the reality is, we can’t protect them forever. Our dream home could go up in flames, we could wreck our flashy cars. Expensive, fashionable clothes may be out of style by next season. The latest gadgets of today are outdated in just a few months. Plus, watching the stock market can be anxiety-inducing as we watch our investments and retirement savings reduce rather than increase in value.
But it isn’t only our possessions and finances at risk. We can work hard to gain the approval of men, only to have them betray us. Emily Dickinson was a 19th century poet who wrote: “Fame is a fickle food upon a shifting plate.” Just as food eventually rots and perishes, so does fame. Plus, what it takes to please the masses changes from day to day, it shifts. The approval of man is always unstable and the standards of acceptance are constantly changing. We see this now more than ever with cancel culture.
That is why Jesus admonished us not to store up treasures on earth. It is a waste of our time, treasure, and talents. Instead, He said that we should invest our resources in things that have eternal value. Things that won’t perish. We should be focused on spiritual gain instead of material.
Pastor and theologian Warren Wiersbe wrote: “What does it mean to lay up treasure in heaven? It means to use all that we have for the glory of God. It means to ‘hang loose’ when it comes to the material things of life. It also means measuring life by the true riches of the kingdom and not by the false riches of this world.”
In Luke 12:33, Jesus said, “Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys.”
1 Timothy 6:17-19 says: “As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.”
Friends, Jesus said that our treasure reveals the desires of our heart. If we are consumed with materialism, our hearts are set on earthly gain. If we are consumed with using our talents for our own selfish glory, our hearts are set on ourselves. In contrast, people whose hearts are in heaven, value what they will have in heaven. They see that the things of this earth will all pass away, so they hold it with an open hand. They give freely because God has given to them freely. They share without expecting anything in return. Take some time to take inventory, today. Where is your treasure stored up? Where is your heart? Where is your bank account?
Father, I confess that I often get caught up in the lure of materialism. But I do not want to be ruled by anything in this world except by You alone, God. Help me to hold everything You have given me with an open hand and invest it in Your Kingdom rather than trying to build my own on earth. Amen.