This week's command is to 'Lay up Treasures.' If you saw my room you would know that I have this one mastered...O wait, not that kind of treasure??? Jesus said, "Lay not up for yourselves treasures on earth where moth and rust doth corrupt and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt and where thieves do not break through nor steal. For where your treasure is there will your heart be also" (Matt. 6:19-21).
To 'lay up treasures' means to accumulate, heap up, or store up. On earth, it gives the idea of stock-piling goods and riches that aren't really necessary. While there are things that we should own and are definitely needful like clothes, we need to be reasonable. Rather then heaping up earthly things, God wants us to focus on heaping up heavenly things.
C.T. Studd was born into a wealthy family in 1860. His father had owned an indigo plantation and was now retired to a country estate. C.T. Studd went to Cambridge and excelled at cricket; gaining the spot as captain and toured through Europe. He realized, however, the vanity of his fame when his brother fell ill. He said, ""I know that cricket would not last, and honour would not last, and nothing in this world would last, but it was worth while living for the world to come." He began to invest his life in eternal matters and began witnessing to friends. He felt led to go to the China mission field and experienced many hardships for the Gospel. He invested his inheritance in the ministries of D.L. Moody, George Mueller and others and gave up his prestige to minister to villages across the world. He used his life in a powerful way to lay up treasures in heaven rather than seeking cricket trophies or basking in his inheritance. He learned early that 'the world to come' is worth seeking after.
C.T. Studd was focused on gaining an eternal reward and this was the purpose of Jesus' command: to keep our attention on eternal matters. "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God" (Colossians 3:1). God blesses us with many earthly treasures, but He doesn't want them to be our most prized possessions. In this passage Jesus said that where your treasure is, that is where your heart will be turned to. What you see as valuable will receive your deepest affection and attention.
We are pilgrims on this earth, journeying to our eternal home in heaven. Since we will be spending a good amount of time in eternity, wouldn't it be wise to store up treasures for then? How exactly do we do this?? If you had one million dollars in coins, you wouldn't throw them in a closet and forget about them. Why not? Because they are extremely valuable! Only when we see how valuable eternal treasures are, will we be able to seek after them whole-heartedly. Search the Scriptures and cultivate an understanding of the immense value in heavenly treasures. When you see how valuable they are, you will desire (your heart will be turned to) doing that which will gain eternal rewards.
Here are some things that will gain eternal rewards:
-Give generously to the saints, to the poor, to the fatherless. (II Cor. 9:6, Mt. 19:21)
-Invest quality time in seeking the Lord (Remember the last command? Practice Secret Disciplines)
-Suffer righteously (I Peter)
There are many more things that will gain us eternal rewards...are we seeking these things? I know for me the cares of this world can choke out the more eternal matters. Let's seek to invest in our 'spiritual bank account' by turning our hearts to what God sees as valuable.
-What personal luxuries or plans can I limit so I can further invest in the Kingdom of God?
-Who can I give to that cannot repay me?
-What is one way that I can invest in eternal treasures today?
"Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me" (Mat. 19:21).
Some notes adapted from IBLP Commands of Christ study guide and pocket guide
-Obey and teach God's commands (Mt. 5:19)