Matthew 6:19-21 (NIV 1984):
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
The above highlighted verse evoked nostalgic memories of my first Bethesda Chapel church camp that I attended in Desaru years ago. I remembered it being used as the camp’s theme verse. As I revisit this verse again, it serves as a reminder to whether the treasures that I am building right now, in my life, are of eternal value in Heaven; or whether I am building treasures on earth where moth and rust can destroy. As I look at the daily activities of my life, I must acknowledge that at times the number of hours spent, are geared towards building the latter. Jesus made it clear in this verse that having and building wrong treasures leads to our hearts being in the wrong place. What we treasure the most often controls us, be it our money or possessions. We need to change our actions to build the right treasures in our life. Below are some suggested ways that we can build and store up treasures in heaven:
Obeying God involves reading the Bible and acting on it. This phrase is easily said from our mouth, but often not implemented in our daily lives. When I became a father with children, I understand how our heavenly Father felt when our disobedience cause the anger or sadness in Him just like sometimes my children do. Though God will forgive when we truly repent, we sometimes got to live with the consequences as a result of our disobedience. When we walked in obedience in God, we will be blessed by Him as mentioned in Psalm 128:1 (NIV 1984):
“Blessed are all who fear the LORD, who walk in his ways.”
Tithing is a concept found in the Old Testament where the Israelites gave 10 percent of the crops that they grew to the temple. Based on this practice, most of us have taken this “10 percent” figure rule and set it as a minimum percentage of our income in our giving. However, though the above rule is recommended and used, tithing/giving should also be based on other factors like our ability to give, the needs of the church, and the motives in our giving. As we seek the Lord in prayer in our giving, this sometimes can mean giving more than the 10 percent. The importance is giving should be done out of our willing heart as mentioned in 2 Corinthians 9:7 (NIV 1984):
“Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
Service should come naturally as children of God. Jesus is one of the best examples of being a servant. It is mentioned in Mark 10:45 that He came down to earth not to be served, but to serve and be a ransom for the many i.e. dying on the cross for our sins. In the context of service in church, the challenge and struggle for us as believers, is that sometimes we will use a lack of time or ability as an excuse. In Judges 6:14-16, God called Gideon to fight against the Midianites to save Israel and gave him the strength to do so. Gideon still gave excuses, citing his limitations and weakness. Are we sometimes like Gideon, when we are called to serve Him in specific ways, giving excuses and failing to see how God can use us to fulfil His purposes?
So what are the things you treasure most? Will you join me towards building treasures in heaven?
Brother Leo Deng Yong