FOR WHERE YOUR TREASURE IS, THERE WILL YOUR HEART BE ALSO
Jesus said, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Matthew 6:21). The immediate context, verses 19, 21, encourages one to “lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven” rather than “treasures upon earth.” The reason is given. Earthly treasures will eventually be lost. Heavenly treasures will remain, last. Solomon wrote, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he. (Proverbs 23:7).
The Lord willing, this writer will turn seventy-five on November 8, 2017. Over the years he has seen a number of things, some good, and some bad. Some of the things observed have been treasures of saints and sinners. This brief study is limited to a few thoughts. The first look will be with regard to those whose treasures have been uplifting. The second will reveal some that were not so good.
First, a good number of saints, men, women, and young people have given occasion for great rejoicing. Well-known brethren, male and female, young and old, have devoted much of their time to a study of the word of God. (2 Timothy 2:15; John 5:39; Acts 17:10-12; 1 Peter 3:15). Some of these people became walking Bibles. It was clearly obvious where their treasures were, on heavenly things. Some of these people were known world-wide, while others were known only in the areas where they lived. Many people were taught, encouraged, motivated, and even converted by some of these men and women, boys and girls. Truly, the hearts of these people turned to spiritual matters, saving themselves and those who heard them. It was obvious what was first in their lives. Cf. Matthew 6:33; Philippians 4:8.
It has been this scribes pleasure to serve under some elders who knew the Book, were loyal to Jesus, and had the wisdom that comes from above. (1 Timothy 3;1-7; James 1:5). Some of these men helped shape who the penman is. One such elder would play the devil’s advocate in Bible class, to make sure the teacher was prepared. He and his sweet wife frequently entertained and encouraged the young preacher and his wife. Another elder in a different city would visit the young preacher in his study to give him timely advice. His wife was ever active and helpful, encouraging all to be vigilant in service to the Lord. Cf. Hebrews 13:7, 17; 1 Peter 5:1-4.
Deacons who served well, who had hearts firmly fixed and centered on heavenly things, have meant so much to the cause of Christ, challenging and encouraging the Lord’s own. They did not stand back and wait on others to do the work. Some were so active that they later were appointed elders in the church. Some of these men have imparted priceless advice.
Some wives of some elders and deacons unquestionably had (have) their minds fixed on heavenly things, as seen in their words and deeds. A number of these godly women were like Phoebe and others. (Romans 16:1, 2, 3ff; 2 Timothy 1:5). Their deeds and teaching brought people to the Lord, which resulted in a number of others obeying the gospel. Some were like Mary and Martha. (Matthew 26:1-13; Mark 14:1-9; John 12:1-8).
Paul challenged young people, “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” (1 Timothy 4:12). Many boys and girls have read and studied the word of God, rather than ignoring it for other things. Some have done mission work, locally and in other places. They have laid up treasures in heaven.
Many who were not preachers, elders, deacons, or wives of such, have served so well in the Lord’s army. A good number have willingly worked tirelessly without recognition or honor. Some of these have put to shame some who were highly acclaimed.
Secondly, and sadly, many seek earthly things above spiritual things. Quoting Paul, “I speak this to your shame.” (1 Corinthians 6:5; 15:34). Many have been seen zealously pursuing earthly things over spiritual matters. Though some things are not wrong within and of themselves, some have placed them in front of and above God’s will. We live in what has been called the most pleasure-seeking society in time. This may be true! Please take a few moments to see if you are of this mindset.
Sports and sporting events of all kinds are on display all year and in all places. It is BIG business. Many participate, from the very young to older people. Paul compared the Christian race to sporting events. (1 Corinthians 9:24-27; Hebrews 12:1ff). Nothing in the scriptures is known to forbid enjoying or participating in sporting events, as long as one dresses modestly and plays in harmony with the golden rule. (1 Timothy 2:9, 10; Matthew 7:12). However, whether participant or fan, do not forget to “seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness;….” (Matthew 6:33). This writer has a very good Christian brother and friend who could have been a pitcher in the major leagues, but he left it all behind for fear that it might impede his ability to serve God well. What about you? How much money do you spend on sports, sporting events, and the like, as compared to contributions, orphans, widows, mission works, and other? Cf. Galatians 6:10; James 1:27. How far and often will you go to sporting events? What about gospel meetings at the home congregation, area churches, and even further? Do you get more excited about your sports team than the church? Do you talk more about your sports team than Jesus daily and when you assemble to worship? Where is your heart/treasure?
Hunting and fishing is big. Many spend countless hours studying hunting and fishing. Unbelievable numbers of dollars are spent on equipment, trips, and such like. Hours are spent on talking about hunting and fishing. Many get more excited about these things than they do about God, Jesus, the church, and salvation. Some spend more time hunting and fishing for animals, fish, and such like, than they do being “fishers of men.” (Matthew 4:19). Perhaps all should ask, “Which will be important at the judgment?” Dear reader, do you need to rearrange your priorities? Where is your treasure? Where is your heart? You may proudly get the trophy to hang on your wall for all to see. However, you should seek to lay up treasures in heaven for God to see. This writer knows of nothing wrong with hunting and fishing; however, dear student, get such in the right place, and keep it there.
Others seek fashion, spending many dollars on the same. Adam and Eve made aprons of fig leaves to cover themselves. (Genesis 3:7). God made them coats to cover their nakedness according to His will. (Verse 21). Paul, inspired of God (2 Timothy 3:16), called women to “adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness… “which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.” (1 Timothy 2:9, 10). Obviously, God wants people to make or buy clothes to cover themselves. Question: Do you dress modestly, using self-control, or to flaunt your attire. Remember, the context shows that over-dressing is just as wrong as under-dressing. Is your treasure in clothes or heaven?
There are those who get involved in politics. Some of these spend most of their time pursuing that which pertains to such matters. Their treasures are in serving certain people and getting votes than spiritual matters. They will go all over trying to get votes, at town, city, or community gatherings. Yet, these same people are not as active in seeking to save souls. Some throw grass into the air to see which way the wind is blowing. However, they seldom open the Bible to see what God wants.
The Lord Jesus Christ is coming again to “judge the world in righteousness.” (Acts 17:30, 31; 2 Timothy 4:1-8). Each one will “receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether good or bad.” (2 Corinthians 5:10). Will God say, “Well done” (Matthew 25:21, 23) to you because your treasures and heart were where they should have been? Or, will He say, “Depart”, because you were more interested in earthly things, because your treasures were here? (Matthew 25:41). Time here is brief at the most. Eternity never ends. Lay up treasures in heaven; they will last.