INCARNATE: TREASURES IN HEAVEN

BY ROBY ELLIS

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

When the stock market crashed in 1929, hundreds of people committed suicide, deciding that their lives were not worth living without the earthly treasures they had worked so hard to store up. In the wake of this economic disaster, the federal government began the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Company), which is designed to guarantee the money put into America’s banks. Investors should be warned, however, that even this insurance is only as secure as the federal government. The good news is there are investments we can make that are guaranteed to succeed––not by an investment firm or the federal government, but by God Himself!

The problem with earthly wealth is that it can be lost so quickly and so easily. At any given moment in any number of ways, our material possessions can be taken from us. Creatures as seemingly harmless as moths and termites can do tremendous damage if given time. Floods, fires, storms, and earthquakes can destroy in minutes what took years to build. Furthermore, earthly wealth cannot give us the things we desire the most. It can buy health care, but not health. Instead of happiness, the desire for riches invites temptation, sorrow, and destruction (1 Timothy 6:9–10). Earthly riches often come at a very high cost. The rich young ruler clung to his riches at the expense of eternal life (Matthew 19:21–22). The reality is that we will leave this world with nothing more than we carried into it (Job 1:21). If we will remember this, it is sure to help us keep things in proper perspective while we live.

Jesus tells us to lay up our treasures in heaven––the only place they can be perfectly secure. The inheritance we have there is one that never fades away (1 Peter 1:4). One might save a lifetime to enjoy the fruits of his investments when he retires, but even if he lives to do that, how long will it last? In heaven, my benefits are eternal, and I don’t have to wait until I turn 65 to start receiving them (Mark 10:29–31)! Like earthly treasures, however, heavenly riches come at a cost. The one who stores up treasure in heaven must be willing to surrender all that he has to obtain them (Matthew 13:44). In fact, he must give up his very life (Luke 9:23–24). The rewards, however, far outweigh the investment (Rom. 8:18).

Think you’re ready to get started? Well, first you need to open an account. When you open an account at a bank, you sign an agreement stating the terms concerning interest rates, withdrawals, overdrafts, etc. To open an account in heaven, you make a covenant with God that is sealed by the blood of His Son (Hebrews 10:29) when you are baptized into His death (Colossians 2:11–13; Romans 6:3). Once you enter this covenant, you can begin making deposits by bearing under persecution (Matthew 5:10–12), praying and doing charitable deeds in secret (6:1–8), and forgiving others (6:14–18). In short, you store up heavenly treasure when you make the kingdom of God the greatest priority in your life (6:33).

The tombs of the Pharaohs were guarded for centuries, but eventually they were all abandoned and looted. The treasures that we lay up for ourselves in this world will all be destroyed someday, but the treasures we lay up in heaven are perfectly secure and will benefit us eternally. You might say that the only true safe deposit box is in heaven. Are you ready to open an account? Roby Ellis

“GOD LOVES YOU AND I LOVE YOU AND THAT’S THE WAY IT’S GONNA BE!” – MIKE

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