When I was growing up, my two sisters and I liked to sit side-by-side on top of my mother’s large cedar-lined chest. My mom kept our wool sweaters in it and handiwork that was embroidered or crocheted by my grandmother. She valued the contents of the chest and relied on the pungent odor of the cedar wood to discourage moths from destroying what was inside.
Most earthly possessions can easily be destroyed by insects or rust, or can even be stolen. Matthew 6 encourages us to place a special focus—not on things that have a limited lifespan but on those that have eternal value. When my mom died at fifty-seven, she had not accumulated a lot of earthly possessions, but I like to think about the treasure she stored up in heaven (vv. 19–20).
I recall how much she loved God and served Him in quiet ways: caring faithfully for her family, teaching children in Sunday school, befriending a woman abandoned by her husband, comforting a young mother who had lost her baby. And she prayed. . . . Even after she lost her sight and became confined to a wheelchair, she continued to love and pray for others.
Our real treasure isn’t measured in what we accumulate—but in what or whom we invest our time and our passions. What “treasures” are we storing up in heaven by serving and following Jesus?
Dear Father, help me to choose to invest my life in things that are eternal.
Our real wealth is what we invest for eternity.
According to Jesus in today’s passage, we are to “store up for [ourselves] treasures in heaven” (Matthew 6:20). What are these treasures? They’re the blessings that will be ours in heaven (1 Peter 1:4) but that we get a preview of in this life when we follow Christ. William Hendriksen, in his commentary on Matthew, lists many of those Jesus Himself described: “Our standing with God as being fully pardoned (Matt. 6:14), answered prayer (7:7), the enrolment of our names in heaven (Luke 10:20), the Father’s love (John 16:27), a welcome not only to the ‘mansions’ of heaven but to the Savior’s own heart (14:2, 3). [We also have a] life that will never end (John 3:16) . . . a hand out of which the Good Shepherd’s sheep will never be snatched (John 10:28) . . . [and] a love from which we shall never be separated (Rom. 8:39).”