One of the things that many of us in the civilized world pride ourselves in is our collection of worldly goods. Some of us have the funds to back our expensive material collections while others of us struggle to acquire even a few over a lifetime. But the fact is, most of us can look around our homes and see things that we cherish and in our eyes they have great material worth. But in the end, they are worthless collectibles.
They appease our desire when we are able to appreciate them, but they come with a cost. Not only the cost of the things themselves, but we have to put insurance on them and then worry in case they get broken if touched, or damaged in any way through any number of disasters that could happen. We guard these collectibles throughout our lifetime and put them into bright showcases for everyone to see. Yes, we are proud of our collection. But the truth is, they are worthless.
God tells us to put our treasures into Heavenly things because they are the only things that have value.
- “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”—Matthew 6:19-21
Last year I attended a funeral for a dear Christian woman and it was then that I realized the true value of life and how so many of us waste it by collecting things that have no eternal value. During her lifetime, she had collected many extraordinary and beautiful treasures. When she got ill and had to move from her home to a long-term care facility, she was concerned about her valuable things and so she took as many as she could with her and we packed the rest away. But as her health began to deteriorate, she lost concern for her “things”. Soon she forgot that she even had them and eventually she didn’t even recognize them. As the days dragged on, she lost all value for the things that she had worked so hard to attain during her lifetime. And the only thing that mattered to her was where she was going.
- “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.”—John 14:2
After her death, I came to realize that some of the things she considered to be treasures held no great material value and meant nothing to me or to anyone else. And that’s when it hit me! We spend a lifetime collecting things and in the end, they are worthless. They can’t improve our health or bring us closer to God or make death any easier. They are “things” and they belong to this world and we can’t take them with us.
Our treasure must be in what God has for us in eternity with Him, not in temporal things of this world. When we leave this earth, we will be made perfect and everything we have will be perfect—invaluable. Our goal should be Heaven and all the promises that God has given to us about our eternal home with Him. It should not be in things we collect here on earth.
However, there is one type of treasure that we need to collect throughout our lifetime, but it’s not material treasure. It’s the souls of those who we lead to Jesus. There is nothing more valuable to God than having His children come home, and if our goal is to please God because we love Him, then it will be our goal to help others find their way to Him, as well. Whether we are serving on the frontlines or being a prayer warrior in the background, getting others saved is the greatest treasure that any Christian could go after. And it’s a treasure that we will have throughout eternity with Jesus! And it’s one that comes with a reward; the Crown of Rejoicing.
- “For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?”—1 Thessalonians 2:19
Our purpose should also be to help people in their times of need. Sometimes our values get twisted and we focus more on our own needs and desires than we do on others. Yet, loving God means also loving and helping other people, and that can mean that our valuables are second to the valuable life that we are helping.
- “But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?”—1 John 3:17
We can’t take anything that we have with us when we leave this world, and even though they bring us pleasure while we’re here, they still belong to this world. And nothing of this world can compare to the blessings that the Lord has for us in Heaven.