EARTHLY DECAYING TREASURES
ETERNAL HEAVENLY TREASURES
SUNDAY JULY 7, 2019
Scripture To Consider:
“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
Something To Consider:
Jesus’ words, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth…” offer us wise warning for all who are willing to heed His instruction. To be the proud or poor owner of much earthly treasure in this life, at times has a certain amount of turmoil and bondage attached to the responsibility of that earthly ownership. For one thing, everything we own in this earthly existence of material value is destined in time to lose value.
Our material possessions decay, rust, run down, and finally lose their luster and longing effect more quickly than promised or desired. Other items of so-called extreme value we may have to lock away to keep from being stolen or squandered by others. Therefore, it is difficult to truly enjoy something we must keep hidden behind lock and key; not to mention the maintenance requirements of many of our so-called earthly treasures.
Everywhere a person looks on any given weekend, he or she could easily see the number of hours spent by so many on just maintaining our so much material baggage. Just thinking about it is enough to make a person want to have a yard sale. And yet, we are to be good stewards of what we possess as long as what we possess does not possess us!
Jesus, in Luke 12.21 warned of our laying up treasures for ourselves and not becoming rich toward God spiritually. In other words, we are not to pursue riches and or wealth at the expense of compromising our spiritual personal relationship with Jesus Christ. If we pursue riches at the expense of not studying the Word of God, we indeed deceive ourselves, and in the end our lives will be destroyed as will all those so-called earthly treasures.
Something Else To Consider:
Could it be time for us to take spiritual inventory! Is what we possess, earthly decaying treasure or eternal heavenly treasure? Is what we possess becoming a blessing or a burden; a help or a hindrance to our being better equipped for the work of the ministry and our enduring to the end? Is what we have labored for to set aside, being used or abused by our generosity, or our lack thereof?
What about the bottom line? Does what we possess as so-called treasure on earth, in reality really possessing us? And if so, what does a person of great earthly possessions do? These are difficult questions to be contemplating, for the truth is not always easily obtained. But it is the biblical teaching according to Jesus, and therefore, it is still the truth nonetheless!
From the beginning of time it has been customary, especially in the Middle East culture, for wealthy persons to convert some of their earthly accumulated wealth into forms of valuables such as expensive jewels or so-called precious metals, and to hide them in the earth. Today we may prefer safe deposit boxes or hidden vaults purchased at a great price themselves.
Jesus teaches in our text, that it is eternally wise to send our treasure ahead of us for much more safer and eternal keeping. I would like to leave that decision between you and your God. But I must warn of the many wolves in sheep’s clothing taking advantage of God’s people and their generosity. For decades seed faith false prophets have been shaking down the people of God who have yet to understand the principle Jesus was and still is teaching in our Scripture to consider.
For decades men and women who have risen to the forefront of Christendom whose faith is nothing more than a clever look alike Christian disguise they wear as a cloak of covetousness. We are warned in 2 Peter 2.3; “By covetousness they [false prophets and false teachers] will exploit you with deceptive words…” And their boldness and pride have increased to the point of a well-known woman evangelist who claims God has instructed her to request from her followers to send her a month’s salary so God can bless them, or else! Jesus has declared, “Take heed that no one deceives you.”
And yet, for many, their money, their wealth, and their earthly treasures have become their God as has this fleecing the flock false prophet and many others who will remain nameless for now! And worse than the requesting a month’s salary from God’s people, is the number of deceived individuals grows every day, every month, and every year by leaps and bounds.
And the apostle Paul explained why in 1 Timothy 6.10, by stating; “For the love of money [wealth and earthly so-called treasure] is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” Paul then admonishes us by instructing, “But you, O man [woman and or young person] of God, flee these things [the greedy pursuit of wealth] and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness.”
Something More To Consider:
The truth of the Word of God should be our greatest treasure. The Psalmist spoke his mind regarding great treasure in Psalm 119.161-162, by declaring; “Princes persecute me without a cause, but my heart stands in awe of Your Word. I rejoice at Your Word as one who finds great treasure.” Jesus gives us good advice when we attempt to rightly choose between earthly decaying treasure and eternal heavenly treasure, when He truthfully proclaimed, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
So, will it be more of the same old materialistic grabbing for all the gusto we can gather here on earth? Or will we begin today to lay up treasure for ourselves in heaven by laying down our self-indulging rights and selfish claims to all we possess? Jesus wants to free us from the self-inflicting pain of earthly decaying and moth-eaten so-called earthly treasures. Therefore, is it time to turn over a new lease on life by giving to our hearts delight? If so, be careful where you give!
How then, other than personal prayer and fasting, should a decision be made as to where to invest some of the earthly treasure God has allowed His people to accumulate in this life? This to me seems a very fair question to ask ourselves. And if you are waiting for me to suggest that you send me some of your hard-earned dollars, you will be waiting forever! I am a firm believer in the truth that plays out in Scripture over and over again. Where God guides, God also provides!
A Few Final Words:
Now, this is not the Word of the Lord, but a simple path of decision my wife and I have chosen in attempting to wisely select the direction of some of our earthly treasure giving. Because we believe we are living in the end times, we see first-hand that lawlessness is abounding just as Jesus said it would. And that means religious lawlessness even within the so-called organized and very much established church.
Therefore, we first pray and look for God’s leading us to groups that are for the most part under-funded due to their size or the actual work that is being done. Some, not all larger Christian groups seek more so to enlarge their financial receiving possibilities than actually doing the work of the ministry on a hands-on ground level basis. Simply do your Christian required research!
Then we search out their doctrinal belief system. We attempt to determine if they are biblically sound and do not contradict the Word of God, and especially the teachings that are according to Jesus. This in and of itself greatly narrows the field of choice for us! Many of the larger religious groups or denominational outreach ministries cater to the broader but non-biblical views of things such as once saved always saved and a pre-tribulation rapture. Of such groups we wish not to continue the deception simply to increase their financial coffers.
And finally, are those we are considering giving to proclaiming the true gospel to others while accomplishing the Christian care-giving commands of Jesus stated in Matthew chapter 25. “Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.”
To the unrighteous, who did none of these things, Jesus sternly declared, “Depart from Me, you cursed, into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels…”
Our Father in heaven, teach us to lay up treasure in heaven according to Jesus’ teaching and because of the benefits of reaping eternal dividends. In Him Always, Amen!