‘Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin 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 – 2).
What is your treasure?
We treasure a lot of things don’t we and one might argue they are not necessarily ‘wrong’ things. Our family can often be our greatest blessing and who can put a price on the value of good friends (“There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” Prov. 18:24)? We are also grateful for good health, work, and happy memories.
There are some things though, that we know are wrong to treasure. For example, the accumulation of wealth and possessions for their own sake, or ambitions for my own ego’s sake. These are what we might call treasures on Earth. But what about those other ‘good’ things – are they treasures on Earth or heaven?
Perhaps that is asking the wrong question. Sometimes I pray ‘Lord I want you to be Lord of my life', but its a struggle. Why? Because my heart is often in other things.
So, maybe it comes down to a different question: how much are we treasuring God? How much are we treasuring His kingdom coming; His name being lifted high; the gospel being shared in the lives of those around us? How much are we treasuring our personal relationship with him; His will being outworked in our lives? How much do we want to value those things above all else?
A few verses later, Jesus reminds his hearers of our Father in Heaven’s care of all living things. If He does that for the birds and lilies, then he will provide for us too.
‘So’, says Jesus, ‘don’t stress yourself worrying about those things, instead, put your energy into building the Kingdom of God with me’ (Matt 6: 25 – 33)
Which brings us back to my question, how much am I treasuring God? If I am treasuring God, that must mean that I am seeking first his kingdom, right? And then what does he promise? He promises to look after all those other things – food, clothing, the things we worry about.
Then there is a curious passage in Matt 7: 13 – 14: ‘Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it’.
I used to think that this was about people becoming Christians and not pursuing other religions. But maybe it is to do with doing life. ‘Narrow’ is often seen as a negative word. It has negative connotations. We can be narrow-minded or have a narrow point of view. But what if Jesus had more in mind the ability to be focused?
A person that is focused can run a marathon, climb a mountain or reach a high level of musical skill. The pursuit of those activities is of huge importance to them. So, maybe a person who is focused on putting the Kingdom of God first, trusting him to look after all those other things, will be a person who treasures God above all other things.
And according to Jesus, that road leads to life. After all, Jesus did promise, ‘I have come that you have life; and life to the full’ (John 10: 10).