Treasure In Heaven

In Randy Alcorn's book, Deception, a much loved character of mine, Obadiah says, "The one who spends his life movin' away from his treasures is goin' to despair. But the one who spends his life movin' toward his treasures is goin' to rejoice!" (p.255) Sounds like very familiar advice that I once read from Jesus. 

However a major consideration I would insert is the mortality of the treasure. Is the treasure you seek and the treasure you have already acquired eternal? 

Matthew 6:19-21 records Jesus saying, "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."

Some eternal treasure is bad like hate, bitterness, discord and murder. These treasures and their hosts will come to a final destination one day and it will not be pleasant. Other treasures are not eternal and are found on earth to either be rotting or at the risk of being stolen. The last treasure is the one Christians should be compiling in Heaven. This then begs the question - what kind of treasures does Heaven require the believer to be stockpiling?

Have you ever seen a squirrel bury a lot of nuts? Remarkably this animal can go about its life and when the season comes, the squirrel can recall where he buried the nuts and return to all them for retrieval. Usually, this is done to get through winter or a particular part in the the squirrel's life. The seeking and storing away of this "treasure" serves a great purpose.

Humans do the same thing with monies. We have various forms and various pots we put them in for various reasons. Usually, the funds are either to withdraw later to enjoy for ourselves or to bless someone else. But there is purpose behind collection of money. But even those resources could be channeled to higher levels of treasure if we would be wise with our saving and spending.

There are so many "things" in life that pull funds and energies from us that are not going to be in Heaven. The word "Treasure" in this passage is translated in the original Greek as thesauros, meaning a deposit of wealth literally or figuratively. This term comes from a word that denotes setting aside something for a purpose.

As a start toward this purposeful end, Paul supplied a list of action items 
for the kinds of things to store-up in Heaven to his apprentice Timothy as a challenge to a certain group of people.
  1. Challenge the rich to not be stuck-up and prideful about their finances, putting their hope in such an uncertain and fluctuating thing as money.
  2. Have them place their hope in God who is The Great Provider.
  3. Challenge these same people to do good,
  4. Have them be very active in doing good,
  5. Have them not hold back from giving to those in need
  6. Have them be willing to share at a moments opportunity.
The actual passage reads -

"Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life." (1 Tim. 6:17-19)

The fruit of a vine or tree is the result or showing of what kind of tree that has been planted. The Christian who abides or lives with Christ (also known as The Vine) will therefore showcase his/her fruit of the Spirit. These fruits or results of living with the Holy Spirit are also treasures to desire, seek and gather for eternity. Paul states it like this - 
  • "the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law." (Galatians 5:22-23). 
Another incentive for storing treasure in Heaven  is that God has a Reward System. While His salvation of our souls and creation is a gift by Father God through Christ; grace through faith in the completed mission of Jesus - our deeds for Him and His kingdom will be rewarded.

However, God does not honor, favor or reward the loud and proud charity givers. Practice charity to the needy privately and you will be rewarded. 
  • "Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven." - Matthew 6:1
Reward demands personal sacrifice and is merited for those who are persecuted because of their belief in Christ Jesus. Effort and labor have to be engaged and toward a goal usually in challenging conditions for a reward to be justified. You will not see reward for nothing in God's kingdom and everything is documented. 
  • "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you." - Matthew 5:11-12
  • "If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?" -Matthew 5:46
  • "He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward." -Hebrews 11:26
However small you aide the most youthful of The Kingdom, your reward will not be lost. 
  • "And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward." - Matthew 10:42
The life-purpose of a Christian, be it a planter, waterer,  or harvester will be rewarded. 
  • "The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor." - 1 Corinthians 3:8
Taking the higher road or better moral decision will result in higher rewards. And even knowing what to do and not doing it will have its consequences. 
  • "But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked." - Luke 6:35
  • "If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them." - James 4:17
In this performance-based world, many of us have a job or career and work in a company in order to achieve our goal, outcome, payment or reward. Within God's kingdom, He already paid for your family membership which includes awesome benefits. Now all your works/deeds should be out of gratitude or thanksgiving. The writer of Hebrews supports this by saying,
  • "without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him." - Hebrews 11:6
If you have the mindset of He died for me, I'll live for Him, then God's favor of rewards naturally follows plus you begin to seek and desire the right kind of treasures. 
The kind of treasures that Christians see as "fruits of the Spirit", the kind that will never rot, they are eternal and they yield a return from God's reward system are the kind of treasures to store up.

What we do here will echo throughout eternity only if Christ is involved in all the details. Humans can have the best intentions of making a difference in this world, but if Christ is not in their lives, their life and their work is only temporary. 
When Christians live their daily life cherishing Christ Himself, then we have set our relationship with Jesus first and everything we find in Him follows. 

I encourage my fellow Christians and those considering the Christian faith, make the right decision, choose Christ Jesus, seek out His kind of treasure and enter God's Reward System. These correct desires, character traits, attitudes, mindsets and behaviors are ready for you to enjoy and bless others now and someday as a Treasure In Heaven.