“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon 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”.
Matthew 6:19-21 KJV.
This scripture is so rich with meaning.
It is unfortunate that so many people have been engrossed with prosperity preaching, that these verses are almost forgotten and some twist them to suit their desires.
What was Jesus trying to teach here?
Does it mean one should not have possessions at all?
No! Not at all.
My understanding is we should not be engrossed with accumulating wealth and riches here on earth and in so doing neglect our spiritual life and walk with God.
We know that all our earthly possessions will remain here when we die, or may be destroyed, we are not taking any with us.
This is confirmed in the book of;
1 Timothy 6:7 KJV
“For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out”.
And reading further down the same chapter, verses 8 & 9 said, “And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition”.
1 Timothy 6:8-9 KJV
In the Lord’s prayer Jesus himself taught his disciples how to pray, saying, “Our Father who art in heaven, ……….give us this day our daily bread……..”
Matthew 6:11 KJV.
We need to have our daily needs met and it is our heavenly father who supplies all our needs. He knows what we need even before we ask him.
God provided manna for the children of Israel in the wilderness. Exodus 16:4-35.
He knows how to take care of his children. He is a good and loving Father.
All we need to do is obey him and trust him always.
Everyone of us have to give account to God what we did with our time on earth, how much we loved our fellow human beings, not about how much money or possessions we had or how much fame we achieved.
It is not about who is the richest person on earth.
These days we see lists of the top 20 richest pastors or the top 10 richest pastors in the world.
I keep wondering if all the members of these churches whose pastors names appear in these lists have all their needs met financially, spiritually etc.
I don’t mean to judge anyone here.
We are told not to judge.
“Judge not, that ye be not judged”.
Matthew 7:1 KJV.
God is the supreme judge.
However, we have to speak the truth in love.
God supplies all our needs but mostly through our fellow human beings. It is not always, that God reigns manna from heaven. He can do it, with him all things are possible, but we are put on this earth to love and help one another. God himself has Empowered us to do so.
When Jesus was asked which is the greatest commandment he said,
“………Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets”
Matthew 22:37-40 KJV.
He also said you can’t serve two masters,
“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon”.
Matthew 6:24 KJV.
Continuing, Matt :19:23-24. “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God”.
Even the disciples were amazed at this teaching and wondered among themselves who then can be saved.
Have you ever tried to envision a Camel and the eye of a needle?
That means it is extremely very difficult for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God according to Jesus Christ.
Why is this though?
That a rich man finds it difficult to acknowledge God and give him glory and Praise.
It is my understanding that human beings, generally tend to attribute their wealth to hard work and wisdom, leaving God out of the picture. It has to do with pride ego.
We tend to forget that some day, one may wake up in the morning and may not be able to get out of bed due to ill health, or may not even wake up at all.
Life is in the hands of God.
Knowing therefore that our lives depend absolutely on God, the best thing to do is give him all the glory, worship him with all that he has given us.
Moreover money is not everything. Money cannot buy peace of mind, good health, love, joy, happiness etc.
The most money could do is buy different things, cars, houses etc. Pay bills, go on exotic vacations, and after that, what next?
Some things you buy with money may not even satisfy you.
For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
1 Timothy 6:10 KJV.
Some may have million of dollars in their bank accounts, yet are unable to eat or enjoy food because they are being fed through a tube. May not be able to walk due to paralysis sustained through accident or a stroke.
If we think of the many things that befall us in this world, the best thing to do is to worship God with all he has given us and humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God.
I want to add here that money is not altogether evil but it is how you handle it, that makes it good or evil.
If you use your money to help the poor and needy in the society, that’s a good cause.
Remember, God loves a cheerful giver.
Even Solomon with all his riches realized that it is all vanity and said,
Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity. Eccl 1:2.
In the same Eccle ch 12 he said “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man”.
Eccl 12:13 KJV.
The whole duty of man is not to pursue wealth and fame, but rather to fear God and obey him.
Remember, The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.
Psalms 111:10 KJV
How do we lay treasures for ourselves in heaven?
Jesus said in Matt 18:3,
And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
This means we need to be humble and obedient to the word of God. Total surrender and submission to the Lord.
Learn to walk in the Spirit and not in the flesh.
Chapter 5 of the book of Galatians talks about loving one another, the works of the flesh, walking in the Spirit and the fruit of the Spirit, love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Galatians 5:22-23 KJV.
We have to ensure that we possess the fruit of the Spirit.
If we walk in the Spirit, we will not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
Matt 25: 31-46 paints a beautiful picture of the judgement and throws light on what is expected of us in order to make it into heaven.
Here is an excerpt from the chapter.
“Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me”.
Matthew 25:34-36 KJV.
These are what matter to God almighty.
Use your money and riches wisely and also bless those in need and your reward shall be great in heaven in Jesus mighty name.
Of course you have to accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior first and foremost, otherwise your generosity to the poor and needy will be in vain.
The whole concept is that Salvation or Eternal life cannot be purchased with money or riches and where we spend eternity matters.
We can live 0 to 120 years on earth according to Gods plan for each person, but life after death is forever and ever and ever and ever. It is very important that we prepare for eternity from now to spend it with our heavenly father, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit and all the hosts of heaven.
Can you imagine what a reunion it will be seeing our loved ones who went before us in heaven? Oh! What a great joy that will bring to us!
May God help us as we strive towards loving one another sincerely, and following peace with all men and holiness without which no man shall see the Lord in Jesus mighty name. Amen.