Reading the Word
Matthew 6:19–21 (ESV) — 19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Understanding and Applying the Word
This passage begins by telling us not to lay up treasures on earth. What does that mean? What kind of treasures is Jesus speaking of? We get an understanding when he describes how fleeting such treasures are. He says that moths destroy them. This would be speaking of clothing that moths eat holes into and ruin. He also tells us that rust destroys these treasures. The word “rust” is a general word that could be speaking of the breakdown and corrosion of metal, but it could also be speaking of the decay of other kinds of things as well, specifically crops. And lastly, Jesus warns that such treasures are the targets of thieves. Of course, this could point to just about any material possession.
Earthly possessions are fleeting. Many spend their entire lives seeking to accumulate as much as they can, but in time it decays or is lost or is stolen. Even if such treasure lasts, at death it becomes meaningless. However, if one spends their entire life pursuing the things of heaven, they will have lasting treasure. These treasures include the values of the coming kingdom of heaven. This includes love for others, seeking peace, serving others, and honoring and glorifying the Lord.
What treasure are you seeking? Will it last?
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