– D. A. Carson
Identifying Our Treasures
Jesus once said, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21), clearly meaning that what we really value is where our hearts (or priorities) will be. If we value money, then our hearts are in our bank accounts. If we treasure possessions, then our hearts are in our possessions and not in Christ. If our true treasures are what are here on the earth, then our treasures are at risk because there is the risk of moth or rust and even thieves, who can break in and steal. Look at your checkbook ledger or credit card statements–they might tell you what your real treasures are and where your heart lies.
Forwarding Our Treasures
We can’t take our treasures with us, but we can forward them ahead into the kingdom. What I mean is that everything on this earth will be eventually burned up. The Apostle Peter wrote that the time the Lord returns will be when “the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed” (2 Peter 3:10). That means our 401K, stocks, savings and checking accounts, homes, cars, and everything we possess will someday be gone. What a waste, right? Well, you can forward your treasures by investing them into the kingdom, and these treasures are untouchable by fire, corruption, rust, thieves, and even a stock market crash or economic depression. Jesus said, “Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal” (Matthew 6:20).
The True Riches
We often live in anxiety over how we’ll pay our bills, what will happen if we lose our jobs or homes or if our health fails. Jesus knew this and said that all we need do is “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33). We cannot be trusted in the kingdom with much if we’re not even faithful with little today, just as Jesus said, “If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches” (Luke 16:11).
The Greatest Treasures
The greatest treasure is not in possessions but in the Person of Jesus Christ. What is of greater value: things that will burn up or things that can’t be shaken or burned up with fire? Surely those things we do for Christ will remain and those whom we seek to save will remain for eternity. Absolutely everything else will someday be gone. What will remain is what cannot be shaken. As the author of Hebrews says, “Be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken” (Hebrews 12:28).
It’s no wonder Mr. Carson said that those who know where their treasure lies joyfully abandon everything else to secure it. First and foremost, this is the coming kingdom, which the author of Hebrews wrote in 12:27 and which “indicates the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain.” We must identify where our hearts are, we must forward our treasures to the kingdom, we must identify what the truest of all treasures is, and we must see what is the greatest treasure of all. We all probably know what that is already (John 3:16).