What sort of treasure was Jesus talking about when he said, “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 …” (Matthew 6:19,20). Jesus goes on to say, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (verse 21). How can your heart be in heaven? We hear love songs about individual’s stealing hearts, meaning affections. Jesus is talking about where your affections are focused.
Jesus takes many of his sayings from the book of Proverbs. For example, “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life” (4:23). A spring is the source of pure water. Often bottled water on sale is said to be spring water.
How vital to keep the thoughts of our hearts pure! Another proverb says, “Like a muddied spring or a polluted fountain is a righteous person who gives way before the wicked” (25:26). Tragically there are many muddied springs and polluted fountains around these days, never has it been more vital – and difficult – to keep our minds clean so they can lay up treasure in the right place.
Paul wrote to the Ephesians that “Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of the water with the word” (5:25,26). Think carefully about this point. Jesus loves those who become believers in him; his sacrifice was to inspire them to become clean in their minds in this symbolic language. The first step is baptism, down into water, but there is a lifetime of steps to follow in the footsteps of Christ. His word, and the words his father inspired others to write provide what we might call, the washing powder, that will keep the hearts of believers from becoming polluted.
A final thought on treasure in heaven. In the final chapter of Revelation Jesus said, “Behold I am coming soon, bringing my recompense (reward) with me to repay everyone for what they have done” (verse 12). We do not have to go to heaven to claim our reward, Jesus will bring it to us when he comes – and the way the world is now – that could be very “soon”. Do you have treasure in heaven that he can bring?