Tuesday, May 6, 2014


Treasures. We all have some—more or less.

 Some people have estates, others have investments, stocks, bonds, real estate, properties, antiques, rare paintings, race horses, expensive cars, and collections of one sort or another. Some put money in a bank account or in a sock hidden under their mattress. Some invest in jewelry. Still others set up scholarships and endowments to insure that they will be remembered beyond their lifetime. Television commercials tout the purchase of precious metals, gold or silver bullion, as the most secure. 

 We try endless ways to guard our material treasures and conserve our resources for our lifetimes and beyond. The truth is, none of our earthly treasures are safe. Nor do they last forever. Nor could they be stored somewhere on earth guarded under lock and key. All are susceptible to being stolen, rusted, eaten by moths, rotted out by aging, destroyed by tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, and in floods or fires, wiped out in stock market crashes, and devalued.

Ultimately, everything earthly will pass away; even the heavens and earth themselves, Jesus said in Matthew 24. Earth life as we know it will not continue. The day of the Lord is coming and the earth and all its works will be burned up, “all these things are to be destroyed” the apostle Peter declared in his second letter. He graphically records how that will happen.

So then what can we do to insure the permanency of our life labors and earnings and treasures? We are not forbidden to make wise provision for our futures or the welfare of our families, of course. Jesus never left us in doubt. “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal : 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Matthew chapter six) Other translations of “lay up” are “gather and heap up and store” implying the accumulation of more than is necessary with the accompanying anxiety about its security.

There must be some way to deposit and store our treasures in heaven or Jesus would not have said so. Obviously, the treasure will be held there securely for us in our name—some form of private ownership in the heavenly courts? What can we send up and how? How about our works? 

We don't work for our salvation, we receive it purely by the grace of God, but as children of God in Christ we are told to “be zealous for good works.” 

So many biblical passages point to the permanence of our works—what we do for others, for God's kingdom and His righteousness, and how we love others and help them bear their burdens, alleviate their needs, and our sacrifices for the Lord. We are instructed in Scripture to do both the hands-on as well as the spiritual works of mercy toward others. Jesus declared that whatever we do for others, it is as if we do it unto Jesus Himself. Those are the treasures we can send up and we also send our hearts up with them. The Scriptures are so clear that God will not only judge us for our works done while on our earthly journey, but that we will be rewarded for them. Rewards are God's idea, not ours.

I am intrigued with the spiritually symbolic logistics of drive-through banking.

 I approach the bank by the car lane where I see the glass cylinder booth with the lighted sign “OPEN” above it. I pull up to make my deposit. I remove the cylinder, open it, and put my endorsed check or cash into it. I fill out my deposit slip with my account number to be sure my current “treasure” ends up in my account. I close it, return it to its cradle and push the button. Swoosh! Up it goes and overhead on some invisible track it comes to the hand of some unseen teller in the bank who credits it instantly to my account. 

How vividly this financial deposit transaction reminds me of “whatsoever you do unto the least of these my brethren” you do unto Me! My good works are the only treasure I can lay up that is everlasting, and it reaches Heaven in a nanosecond. My treasure is held in God's eternal Storehouse credited to my name and in my account until I arrive to claim it. No thief can steal it, and it will never be devalued. 

 It is far safer than the FDIC's guarantee for my bank accounts.  All of Heaven's Resources are behind my treasure to guarantee its safety. 

When I arrive in Heaven to claim it, I certainly don't plan to spend time reclining on some cloud counting all my treasures to the accompaniment of harp music. If there are any crowns involved in what I have laid up, when I come into the presence of Jesus, my King of kings and Lord of lords, I will joyfully and freely cast them down at His feet. Along with all my stored treasures and rewards.

 He is the only One “worthy of all riches and honor and glory and wisdom and power and blessing and dominion and praise and thanks both now and forever!” (The book of Revelation)

1 comment:

Jennifer Botkin Phillips said...

This is a great analogy of our treasures and where they are is our heart too. You have such a way with words that paint a picture in my head and reminds me that God's word was written for our benefit. Such an encouraging post!