On Sunday we asked the question “what is treasure?” One very helpful answer was that treasure is something that is precious or valuable. So what then does it mean to store up treasure in heaven?
Too often, we still have an image in our head that “earthly” means solid, physical, practical and pleasurable whilst we associate “spiritual” and “heavenly” with the ethereal, abstract and anything but enjoyable. Doctrinally, we might know that this shouldn’t be true but if we are honest, those are the natural associations in our heads.So I found it helpful to come back to the “what is treasure?” question again because if treasure is stuff we value, then the sort of treasure you are going to find in heaven is the sort of stuff that God values. So, one way of talking about storing up treasure in heaven might be to say that it involves “valuing what God values.”
This is helpful because what god values does not exclude, the solid, physical and practical and it certainly doesn’t exclude the enjoyable. God made this world, he put us here to look after his creation and to enjoy it. He promises that one day there will be a new creation where we will be raised to new life and given new, physical bodies. So, if I value what God values, then I will value creation. Taking a genuine concern for the environment, enjoying the beauty and order of this world, engineering, art, music etc are not at odds with building up treasure in heaven.
However, we also saw as we looked at Matthew 6:29-34 that the big distinction between heavenly treasure and earthly treasure is that heavenly treasure lasts whilst earthly treasure does not. So if I value what God values, my priority will be for things that last over things that are temporary. This means that I will resist the temptation to pursue instant gratification. I won’t treat this world as being here to give me what I want. It means that work will not just be about earning enough money for me but will be about doing good, helping, providing things that are useful and enjoyable for others. Work will also include a right concern to provide for your family and also to invest to give to the work of the Gospel.
When we value the things that God values, we will value salvation. We will delight in God’s great salvation plan and play our part in sharing the good news. We will see that God loves his people and so we will treasure the church.
When we value what God values, we will that the Son loves the Father, obeys him and seeks his glory. We will also see the Father’s great love for the Son. We will find in Christ the pearl of greatest price. We will find in Christ the riches of grace,
When we value what God values, when we store up treasure in heaven we will glorify God and enjoy him forever.