Updated: Apr 29
What is it that you treasure the most? Your spouse? Your girlfriend/boyfriend? Your children? Your house? Money? Career? Prestige? Power? Influence?
There are literally countless things that one can pursue in one's time walking the earth. Our lives are FULL of competing priorities. In order to maintain a healthy order in one's life, one must learn to prioritize which treasures receive our precious attention and - often times - if we're not intentional with our time, we can neglect what matters most. In the Bible, we see that the most valuable treasure one can ever possibly find - that outweighs any single treasure found in this world (and all the treasures of the world combined) - is the "Kingdom of Heaven." As Christians, we follow in Christ's example and understanding, when He said:
44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Matthew 13:44
Each person, who identifies as a Christian, must perform a self assessment. We must ask ourselves, if we are living as if we have found the hidden treasure that Jesus is talking about in the parable, above: a hidden treasure which is so valuable, that we would literally sell everything we own - JOYFULLY - to ensure that the treasure we had found, would rightfully be under our ownership. The Kingdom of Heaven is the most valuable treasure!
What are your treasures?
Take a look at your surroundings. If you had none of the "things" that you owned, the merit/influence that you've achieved, or the relationships that you've forged, do you think you would still feel the joy of knowing that you have received more than you could ever imagine, in Christ? Is Christ enough? In Matthew 6:19-21, we see where our treasure ought to be, when Jesus says:
Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
The treasures on this earth are fading, no matter how shiny! Jesus uses three pictures of what happens to treasures on the earth, and they all lead to the same outcome: loss. The treasure you think you have, in this world, will eventually be no more. Whether through the inevitable destruction that comes with time, or someone else taking what you thought belonged to you. The moth from the earth consumes your earthly treasures, the rust destroys even the strongest of your earthly treasures, and the heart of man covets after the earthly treasures that you own. Like gambling at the casino, the odds are completely against you: where you think you'll win - you will lose - if you place your treasures on earth, "the house always wins." As Christians we know, we live in a fallen world, where "...wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there will be which go in thereat..." Matthew 7:13 There is a wide gate, that many enter through, and a broad road that leads the deceived to destruction; these are those who've placed their treasures on earth, which is destined to be destroyed.
Instead, Jesus says "...lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven!" Our heavenly treasures exist in a kingdom where nothing - in this world - can corrupt or steal what is of value. The Kingdom of Heaven is a treasure, which contains treasures, and Jesus implores us to make a wise investment, an investment that will yield eternal dividends. Jesus said, "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also," so where we perceive our treasure to be, is where our heart will remain. We are to place our heart - heavenward - not earthbound. The Kingdom of Heaven is the Kingdom that Jesus said is at hand, meaning: it is being built up, now, through the power of the Spirit of God. Practically, this means: your actions matter. Much like we accumulate "stuff" on earth, through our financial investment: we must invest in heavenly treasure. From the scripture, above, we see that heavenly treasures are those treasures that are eternally lasting. Using scripture, I'll note a couple heavenly treasures to invest in:
May the glory of the Lord endure forever; may the Lord rejoice in his works. Psalm 104:31
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever! 1 Chronicles 16: 34
For great is his steadfast love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord! Psalm 117:2
Your name, O Lord, endures forever, your renown, O Lord, throughout all ages. Psalm 135:13
The sum of your word is truth, and every one of your righteous rules endures forever. Psalm 119:160
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever! Psalm 111:10
Your word, O Lord, is everlasting; it is firmly fixed in the heavens. Psalm 119:89
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8
As Christians, our investment portfolio is heavenly, eternal and everlasting: nothing in this world fits this criteria. The list of scriptures above, is only a subset of a number of items that the Bible clearly outlines as having an eternal life: the glory of the Lord, the steadfast love of the Lord, the faithfulness of the Lord, the name of the Lord, the righteous rules of the Lord, the praise of the Lord, the word of the Lord, and Jesus Christ. If heavenly treasures never fade then logically it would do us well to seek out, in God's word, that which never fades. Seek the Kingdom of God first, and we will find contentment. This is not the easy way, because what it says is that the world we live in has nothing that can satisfy our heart: but that is the truth. You may have to turn away from a lifestyle of worldly pursuits. That's why the other half of the scripture (mentioned above) talks about a different gate to walk through: "...because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." Matthew 7:14 The gate is strait, to walkthrough, to find life: it is very straightforward, as outlined above, but with so many distractions in the world, it can be hard to keep eyes on heavenly treasure. The hope that we have, is in the last part of that scripture: "...there be few that find it." As difficult as the journey is, for the Christian, there are those who DO find the strait gate, the narrow path, and receive life. This might seem impossible, and it is, for man: only with the Spirit of God, is it possible, to find life, as our Heavenly Father draws you to it. You must be born again.
Have you been lead to find the invaluable treasure of the Kingdom of Heaven? What is it worth to you? Is it worth more than anything this world can offer? Have you been storing up treasures in heaven, or storing up treasures on the earth? These are a few questions to consider, as we discover that the greatest treasure one can find, is the Kingdom of Heaven.