Treasures in Heaven
19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth,where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.
What are we storing up for ourselves here on this earth? Do we allow money, wealth, and power, to consume the very being of who we are? Do we strive after other material possessions? Don’t get me wrong, if God has blessed us with a means to have some nice things, that’s great. But, if we make it our life’s mission to strive after only those material things, then we have lost focus on what’s important in life.
There is an old saying, you can’t take it with you when you go. When we leave this world, we will no longer have those material things, which we have accumulated here on this earth. What good will those things have done for us? We may have had wealth, money, and all we ever dreamed of on earth. But, what will we have achieved for heaven, anything? Writing on this verse today, reminds me of the story of Lazarus and the rich man, found in Luke 16:19-31.
The Rich Man and Lazarus
19 “There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. 20 And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, 21 who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried, 23 and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. 24 And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’27 And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house— 28 for I have five brothers—so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’ 29 But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’31 He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’”
In Luke 16:19-31, Jesus has been teaching about material things, as well as money. Jesus has been speaking to the disciples (16:1), and the Pharisees, who loved money (16:14). The Pharisees had also scoffed at Jesus’s teaching on money, as they tried to justify that love of money to others.
The story of the rich man and Lazarus is pretty clear. The rich man, who was extremely well off, showed that he placed a higher priority in material things, then in God’s word. The rich man showed indifference to Lazarus, as he only allowed him to eat of the scraps of food, that fell to the ground. I don’t believe the rich man really understood, or knew who Jesus was. It can be assumed that Lazarus in his suffering knew the Lord, since when they both died, Lazarus was with God, and the rich man was in Hades, and separated from God.
What is it we can take from this story? In what, or in whom, will we place our trust? How will we decide to live our lives? Will we strive to have a lasting relationship with Jesus? To truly get to know Jesus, and who He is. Or, will we make money, power, and material things our master on this earth. For you can’t serve both money and God.
24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
Who will you serve? God gives us the ability to choose for ourselves. Will you choose Jesus? Or will you only strive after material wealth? The choice is yours. Hopefully, you will choose Jesus. The one who suffered, died, and rose again for you and me. Jesus loves you, won’t you just give Him a chance?