The Only reliable insurance deposit
The Only Reliable Deposit Insurance (Matthew 6:19-21)
Jesus did not oppose your having a treasure. Indeed, He recognized that you must have a treasure. He does give direction about the only secure place to deposit your treasure. Only treasures deposited in heaven are ultimately secure. You choose to deposit your treasure where it will certainly perish or where it will definitely endure. By "treasure" Jesus did not mean a great hoard of wealth. In His world a "treasure" was a margin, anything left over beyond subsistence.
The Sermon on the Mount gives the character of those who are entering Christ's kingdom. Those who enter His kingdom place their treasure in His kingdom's work.
You Can Never Have a Secure Treasure on Earth
Our Lord begins with a prohibition, "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth" (v. 19). He discourages an attitude He already detected. Jesus is not against treasures. He does prohibit His people from storing up on earth treasures that are only for themselves.
He further gives an explanation. As Son of God and Lord of the church He does not have to explain His commands, but He also knows our natural covetousness, and He gives the reason. Every earthly treasure is transient. In that primitive, simple society there were no banks, safes, or police. Treasure was kept at home in the form of garments, foodstuff, and precious metals. Each of these had its own enemy. Some of these enemies were impersonal. Moths ate garments that were heirlooms. Blight could consume stored foodstuffs. Corrosion could cause precious metal to vanish. Other enemies were personal. Thieves could dig through the mud walls of their homes and steal their treasures. Although the treasures in Jesus' day were different, the truth remains the same. No treasure on earth is safe.
These words call for a qualification. Jesus does not prohibit our saving or planning in a prudent way. God gives the power to give wealth (Deut. 8:18). Abraham, Job, and David were obviously wealthy men. God expects us to save (Prov. 21:20). He even directs us to the ant who knows how to set aside for the future (6:6-8). Parents should provide for their children (2 Cor. 12:14). What Jesus forbids in this passage is giving primary intensity and centrality to treasures on earth. He excludes that excessive, insatiable desire to have more than enough. He calls on us to govern our treasure, not be governed by our treasure. Elsewhere He said, "Labour not for the meat which perisheth" (John 6:27, KJV).
You Can Have a Treasure in Heaven
Jesus points to a reality. You can have a treasure in heaven. His command is to start now investing in a heavenly treasure. How can you have a treasure in heaven? You cannot launch your money into space or have an armored car deliver it to the pearly gates today! You deposit your treasure in heaven by the right use of your possessions on earth. You can invest in this age in such a way that you meet the investment in the age to come. You deposit treasure in heaven when you support those who are in need (Luke 12:33-34). Even the cup of water given in Jesus' name builds heavenly treasure (Matt. 10:42). The way you use earthly treasure actually creates a firmer foundation for the life beyond this life (1 Tim. 6:18-19). In fact, you can so use your money in this world that when you reach the next world those who benefitted by your money will be there to greet you (Luke 16:9). That is, you deposit your treasure in heaven by placing it into the lives of those who are going there.
Our Lord gives a reason for investment in heavenly treasure. It alone is a secure treasure. None of the impersonal or personal enemies that threaten earthly treasures can threaten heavenly treasure. In heaven the market never varies and the value of the dollar never changes. Only the things you invest in God's work will meet you in heaven. You will meet your personal giving record in the presence of God.
Your Heart Follows Your Treasure
No one had the insight that Jesus had into the human heart. The ultimate reason for putting your treasure in God's work has to do with the location of your heart. "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also," (v. 21). Jesus assumes that everyone has a treasure. He also knows that your heart will be where your treasure is. Just as a sunflower follows the sun or a compass needle follows a magnet, your heart will follow your treasure.
The biblical "heart" represents the very center of your personality—intellectually, emotionally, and your will. Our heart goes where our money goes. When you invest all your money in the things of this world, your heart will be captured by this world. When you put your money in the work of God, your heart will be captured by the things of God. Would you like to have your heart in the work of our church? Put your treasure here and your heart will be here. Those care most who invest most in the work of God through His church.
One out of six verses in the Gospels deals with your relationship to money. You handle money more than any other commodity of life. When you face God you will give account for your stewardship of money. Be sure you have a safe deposit.