A guy friend of mine once owned a really nice sports car. He parked it at the end of the row to keep it away from other cars. Every weekend, he washed and waxed that vehicle until his face shone in the hood. He was so proud. The first time he walked out to find a ding, he was beside himself. I explained to him that the main thing was that he was safe. No one was hurt. Inanimate objects are not as important as animate objects. It took a while, but he eventually calmed down.
Upon reflection, I realized that the reason he was so distraught was because he treasured his fast car. He had saved money to buy that vehicle, and it made him feel important. He put all that time and effort into something temporary. One day it would rust to pieces and cease to run.
Jesus admonishes us to place our treasures in heaven where they will last forever.
Matthew 6:19-21 says, ““Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (NKJV).
As a society, people value quality items. They think more of someone with a luxury vehicle than an old lemon. Yet, maybe the clunker was once a great car, but the owner decided it was more important to invest money into his local church instead of upgrading his vehicle every few years.
The time and money we give into the kingdom of God are eternal investments. No inflation can eat up the buying power of those deposits and no stock market crash that can foil our returns. You treasure in heaven cannot be stolen by thieves in the night. I’ve heard it said, “You can’t take it with you, but you can send it on ahead.” No matter what material things you accumulate during your life on earth, they will not pass with you into eternity.
Remember the parable about the rich fool who had such a large crop that he tore down his barns and built new ones to hold his bounty? He prided himself on his wealth, and didn’t glorify the Lord. God struck him dead. The story ends with Luke 12:12, “So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God” (NKJV). Yikes! I have no desire for God to smite me because I hoard the riches that He has entrusted me to steward.
So, how do we spend our treasure in ways that build our heavenly homes? We invest our lives into loving God and loving others. We can tithe at our local church and give to charities that advance the kingdom of God. Also, because valuable things extend beyond just our money, we can use our time and talents too. Maybe you can teach children in the nursery or welcome people as they enter the sanctuary. Perhaps the Lord has blessed you with a great singing voice and you can encourage a congregation through song.
For loving others, you can share your resources with friends and family when they fall in times of need. With people coming out of the pandemic and gas prices sky-high, if you even have a dime more than you need, why not ask God who you can gift it to? Even if you have no extra dollars lying around, maybe you could babysit for a neighbor or knit a hat for someone with cancer. The options for eternal investments abound.
Recently, my sister-in-law got in an accident and totaled the car that I had sold her a year and a half ago. I had owned the vehicle over a decade and loved it, even more than my current vehicle. Thank God, no one was hurt in that collision. I recalled the conversation I’d had with my guy friend years ago and had more peace about it than I would have had otherwise. The car wasn’t a human. The people were safe. That is what mattered.
My heart is with my brother and sister-in-law for their well being. Because my investment was in my sister-in-law, not the car, God turned the accident into a blessing in disguise. They managed to find a car for a less than what the insurance had paid and used the remainder to pay some separate bills.
What does your heart treasure? Do you seek to love people made in the image of God or are you focused on getting the latest and greatest gadget? Ask God to help you invest in things that last for eternity. His interest rate will yield a future harvest that lasts forever and will never rust no matter how many dings you receive in life.
Joanna Eccles has led Bible studies for over ten years and completed the year-long C. S. Lewis Fellows Program. She is passionate about discipleship and helping people know God better. Joanna enjoys coffee, traveling, and reading, and currently lives in Virginia.