When Annie first gave me the title TREASURE for this week’s reflection, one passage came to mind - Matthew 6:19-21,
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth……. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven…….. “
To understand how we can store up treasure in Heaven we must read those verses in context.
We are not to sing our own praises (v.1-4)
Our prayers should be between us and God in privacy not for show. (v.5-7)
Jesus gives us the pattern for our prayers (v.7-13) which teaches us to forgive others as He forgives us. (v.12)
We are not to make a public display of fasting. (v.16-18)
We are to cherish His Word above all earthly possessions (v.19)
Our eyes must reflect His light and not the darkness of this world (v.22-23)
We must love God above our money and possessions (v.24)
We are not to worry about anything. We must trust God. (25-32)
We must seek first the Kingdom and His righteousness (v.33)
We also find other glimpses in Jesus’ teaching about storing up treasure in Heaven. We are called to feed the poor, care for the widow and the orphan, love God above all else, and love our neighbour as ourselves. I find it both challenging and a blessing to study the gospels and find ways in which I can store up treasure in Heaven. I encourage others to do likewise. We who were sinners, now washed clean by the precious blood of our Saviour, are able to show our gratitude by our desire to please God in all we think, say and do. Nothing pleases Him more than when we spend time with Him in our secret place asking Him to align our lives to become ever more Christ-like.
During my search I discovered another kind of treasure. I encourage you to read Matthew 13:44-50. Jesus describes three short parables that give insight into what the Kingdom of Heaven is like.
Firstly Jesus tells us that it is like a treasure hidden in a field. A man finding it sold all he had in order to purchase that field.
Secondly, it is like a pearl of great value. The man sold all he had in order to purchase it.
I am certain that the ‘treasure’ and the ‘pearl’ are both a picture of us. I once believed that Jesus was the ‘treasure’ or the ‘pearl’ but have since realised I have absolutely nothing that would ever be enough to purchase Jesus. Instead it is He who gave up everything to purchase my soul and yours. Jesus showed me how together we are like a precious pearl necklace and as His Bride we become the pearl of greatest price for whom He will one day return.
What about the third parable? In this story the fish are sifted and some are thrown back. Could this be aligned to Matthew 25 where Jesus again speaks about the Kingdom of Heaven. It should be a wake up call to know that the way we live our life, our motives, the things we treasure, the way we treat others, matters greatly to our Lord. When we stand before Him to give account, it will be the fruit we have grown, the love we have shown to others that will matter. We may have been the greatest preacher, teacher or prophet, or we might have achieved great things academically, but it will all count for nothing if we have not loved others as He has commanded us to do.
Prayer: Lord Jesus I realise that following You may cost me much, yet even if it costs my life it will be nothing compared to immense price You were willing to pay for my soul, and the glory that awaits all Your followers. Forgive me when I have failed, and help me to grow ever closer to You. Amen.