People at all times had the practice of investing in some form of securities. Today also, almost everyone invests in some sort of secure deposits or securities which they regard as their assets in times of need or emergency or even as security in the retired life. Besides this, they may hoard these assets for enjoyment and luxurious indulgence here on earth. The Bible also talks about investments but on a wholly different approach.
Jesus said, “lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven” (Matt. 6:20). He connected this with the actual desire of our hearts, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matt. 6:21). He instructed not to lay up treasures on earth, which are destroyed by moth, rust, and stolen by thieves (Matt. 6:19). The worldly-minded people are busy laying up treasures on this earth. Unfortunately, many of the believers also who are worldly in their thinking are so focussed on accumulating things on this earth that they miss the focus on eternity altogether.
When God and His Kingdom are our priority, we will focus and commit our resources – our time, money, talents, professions, possessions – on expanding His Kingdom in the world. Paul said in 1 Cor. 10:31, “do all to the glory of God.” He also encourages servants of the Lord that God has an eternal reward for those who serve Christ, “whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance” (Col. 3:23-24).
When we live and give sacrificially for Jesus so as to bless the Body of Christ, we are storing up treasures in heaven (Matt. 10:41-42). Small acts of service may be unnoticed by men, but God will take note of them.
When believers are persecuted (physically, emotionally, financially, etc.) for the sake of Christ, they can be sure that their reward in heaven will be great. Jesus said, “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven” (Matt. 5:11-12). This is possible only if one has the right vision as seen in Matt. 6:21. This was seen in the life of Moses mentioned specifically in Heb. 11:24-26. Is your vision in line with the Bible?
Selfless lifestyle is a crucial element which is seriously lacking in many professing believers. Jesus said, “love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High” (Luke 6:35). Contrast this with the selfish lifestyle about which Jesus says in Luke 12:15-21. Jesus calls the man in this passage a fool, who works and stores up wealth and treasure for himself in this world alone and not rich in the eyes of God. It would be wise to note when Jesus says that a man’s life is not assessed by the things that he possesses. It is the condition of the heart that matters and the biblical perspective that makes a person rich in God’s eyes.
There are those who give money, pray, fast, and do spiritual exercises coveting the praise of men rather than seeking the glory of God. Some who are blessed with spiritual gifts might be tempted to use their gifts for their own glory. Jesus says that such people have their reward in full here and now (Matt. 6:1-4, 5-6, 16-18). Our focus shouldn’t be on the applause of men here on earth, but on God’s glory, knowing that our heavenly Father will reward us.
Putting God number one in life is the central tenet in the Christian walk. In Matt. 19:16-30, Jesus talks about a man who loved his money more than God. The problem was not that the man was rich but that he treasured his riches more than God Himself. He loved the gifts more than the Giver. When Jesus said to the man, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me” (Matt. 19:21), he went away sorrowful because he had great possessions. He gave more importance and preference for the treasures of this world rather than the treasure in heaven. He was not willing to make Jesus his treasure. The man was very religious in obeying many of the commandments (Matt. 19:18-20), but Jesus exposed his heart of greed and materialism. Is God really number one in your life?
A stern warning not to lose our full reward by following after false teachers is given in 2 John 1:7-9. This is why it is so important to be in God’s Word daily (2 Tim. 2:15). This is the only way we can recognise false teaching when we hear it. The more we are acquainted with the truth in God’s Word, the easier it is to discern the truth from false teachings. It is good to remember that the Lord had commanded the Israelites to obey and walk in all the ways that the Lord had commanded them, and they were not supposed to turn from them even by the slightest margin (Deut. 5:32-33). Though the Israelites initially agreed to do so, they later transgressed against the Lord’s ways which resulted in God’s wrath burning against them.
Honouring the Lord with our wealth through faithful stewardship is also storing up treasure in heaven. 1 Tim. 6:17-19 says, “Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.”
The heavenly treasures that await the child of God will far outweigh the earthly troubles, inconvenience, or persecution we may face (Rom. 8:18). We can serve the Lord wholeheartedly, knowing that God is the One keeping a record, and His reward will be richly gracious. Be reminded of 1 Cor. 15:58 which says, “Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” May the Lord help us to store up lasting treasures in heaven.