Treasure in Heaven or On Earth?
Where is your treasure: in heaven or on earth? Matthew 6:21 tells us that where our treasure is, there your heart will be also. Is your heart focused on earthly things or the heavenly? A few verses later, in Matthew 6:24, we read we cannot serve two masters. I believe this verse helps us understand Matthew 6:21. If your focus is not on God’s Kingdom (one master) than you obviously have something else (second master) in your life more important to you than God. How can we help make sure we focus on the heavenly master rather than the earthly?
One way God helps us know where our treasure is has to do with our obedience to God’s law. The law not only tells us what sin is, but it also provides a daily means to prove our belief in God. For example, every day we must make a decision about what we will eat. God’s law provides us with a test each day in regard to whether or not we will be obedient to God. Will we follow Him and not eat ham or shrimp? Or will we succumb to the odor of bacon and lose focus on God? God also provides us a test on a weekly basis with the Sabbath and on an annual basis with the Holy Days. The other numerous and varied laws provide further tests for various circumstances. Being obedient to God’s law provides us a way to show we are focused on a heavenly rather than earthly treasure.
Another way we can show what kind of treasure we seek is through our use of time. Time even has a bridge to the law because the law asks us to devote a weekly day to the worship of God and rest. God’s seven annual Holy Days also provide us with a time challenge in seeing where our focus is. What are you doing on the Sabbath and Holy Days? Are we doing our own thing or God’s thing? Your answer to this question will help you determine whether or not your treasure is located in heaven or on earth.
Spending too much time on leisure activities could present us with problems. I remember how much time I spent, as a teenager, watching and reading about sports. As I grew older I began to lose the grip that sports had on me and began to spend more time on reading Bible-related materials and listening to tapes, radio, and TV programming focused on God.
In my early adult years I began to devote some of my time to volunteer work. Devoting more of my time to others rather than my pursuits was a positive step in teaching me how to focus on the treasure in heaven. Placing the focus on others rather than yourself is what love is all about, and the Bible tells us God is love. Jesus helped make this clear in John 6:12-17. By being the disciples’ master and washing their feet, He was showing them how He wanted them to focus on others and serve them. This is a very important key that will help you unlock your treasure in heaven.
Some other ways we can put more of our time in search of our heavenly treasure involve fellowship, prayer, meditation, Bible study, and fasting. Fellowshipping provides us with other opportunities to place emphasis on others rather than ourselves. Learning about your brothers’ and sisters’ concerns and problems can help us grow in the way of God. These interactions will also lead to opportunity to pray for others.
Prayer is another way to devote your time in a positive Godly pursuit. Remembering people who need our help on a prayer list will keep your mind focused in the right direction in keeping you away from ungodly pursuits.
Meditation is another way of using your time wisely. Placing emphasis on Godly thinking rather than allowing our cultural influences to fill your mind will protect your heavenly treasure.
Finally, fasting is a focused exercise in strengthening your spirituality. The physical and mental fortitude needed for fasting will strengthen your spiritual muscle in a positive way.
Matthew 6:25-34 also helps us understand another way to focus on the heavenly treasure. In verses 25-34, we read about not worrying about things. The point is made, in verse 33, that if your focus is on God’s Kingdom, worry and stress will dissipate from your life. How can that be? The more you obey and follow God the more you will realize how the cares and worries of this world are insignificant bumps along the road to the Kingdom. Seek first God’s Kingdom and you will receive your heavenly treasure.