Poorly installed electric wiring caused a fire that burned down our newly built home. The flames leveled our house within an hour, leaving nothing but rubble. Another time, we returned home from church one Sunday to find our house had been broken into and some of our possessions stolen.
In our imperfect world, loss of material wealth is all too common—vehicles are stolen or crashed, ships sink, buildings crumble, homes are flooded, and personal belongings are stolen. This makes Jesus’ admonition not to put our trust in earthly wealth very meaningful (Matt. 6:19).
Jesus told a story of a man who accumulated abundant treasures and decided to store up everything for himself (Luke 12:16-21). “Take life easy,” the man told himself; “eat, drink and be merry” (v. 19). But that night he lost everything, including his life. In conclusion, Jesus said, “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God” (v. 21).
Material wealth is temporary. Nothing lasts forever—except what our God enables us to do for others. Giving of our time and resources to spread the good news, visiting those who are lonely, and helping those in need are just some of the many ways to store up treasure in heaven (Matt. 6:20).
In what ways are you storing up treasures in heaven? How might you change and grow in this area of your life?
Our real wealth is what we invest for eternity.
Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount is His well-known teaching on kingdom living. Because of the importance of the ideas conveyed, it is likely that He revisited these themes multiple times during His earthly ministry. The Scriptures describe two of those presentations, which are similar yet distinct. Matthew 5–7 tells us that Jesus taught His message on a mountain (5:1), while Luke’s account takes place on a level area (6:17-49). Matthew’s account includes eight blessings known as the Beatitudes (5:3-12), while Luke’s rendering includes only four blessings and a series of four woes (6:20-26). Bill Crowder