To What Treasure?
Some years ago there was a television commercial which advertised a big sale at an establishment I considered a purveyor of cheap furniture. It kept repeating in the commercial a year three years into the future, exclaiming that one did not have to make a single payment on the new couch from their store for three years. In imitative voice I created a little parody of the ad:
“2005, 2005, 2005!
You won’t have to make your first payment on your new couch until 2005, 2005, 2005!
Your couch will be covered in cat hair and food stains before you make your first payment in 2005, 2005, 2005!
Before you make a single payment you will be so sick of that couch that you will drag it out into the street for a community cleanup truck to haul away, in 2005, 2005, 2005!”
I chuckled as I walked through the house performing that parody and thinking about with some level of sadness the irony of somebody not even making a payment on their treasure until their treasure was a treasure no more.
The Lord Jesus taught that we should lay up treasures in heaven, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Luke 12:34).
“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
I could think of numerous examples in my life when I have worked hard and saved so that I could buy something that I really wanted, perhaps would even treasure, only to see it become decayed, outgrown, outmoded, or outdated. I remember my blue Tonka Jeep, my Pepsi Cola Wrestling Tournament t-shirt, my white Angels Flight suit (both outgrown and outmoded), and my first Kenwood 300 watt stereo receiver with cassette deck and Infinity speakers. In their given day they were things wanted more than just about anything else. But “moth and rust doth corrupt, and …thieves break through and steal” (Matthew 6:19), and treasures not laid up in heaven are never fully realized.
Things do wear-out, break, lose value, or get stolen, so what is a true treasure? I am not suggesting that the things made or earned with our hands are not treasures, or worth our effort, but what makes a more worthy treasure is what we do with it, the lessons we learn from it, how we consecrate it to service of our loved ones, our fellow man, and therefore the Lord. As we read in the scriptures, “When ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God,” (Mosiah 2:17). A treasure is made in heaven when it is consecrated to goodness, to God. A Kenwood 300 watt stereo receiver with cassette deck and Infinity speakers when used to provide entertainment at a wholesome activity for youth is certainly a treasure being made in heaven.
These questions we must ask ourselves, ‘To what treasure will we aspire?’ and ‘For what will we use it once attained?’
‘To what treasure will we aspire?’
‘For what will we use it once attained?’
There was a young prince who looked upon the riches of the kingdom with envy, wishing only to possess it all, not for the good will of all he could serve, but simply to have what he thought he deserved. Well, he ended up with much for a season, but what did he really have?
When we seek that which we should not, for reasons we dare not, we end up with that which moth and rust shall corrupt, and thus for not.
It is written, “For they shall be ashamed of the oaks which ye have desired, and ye shall be confounded for the gardens that ye have chosen. For ye shall be as an oak whose leaf fadeth, and as a garden that hath no water” (Isaiah 1:29-30).
“For they shall be ashamed of the oaks which ye have desired, and ye shall be confounded for the gardens that ye have chosen. For ye shall be as an oak whose leaf fadeth, and as a garden that hath no water.”Isaiah 1:29-30
What good is it to aspire to be a grand oak, if the tree by neglect has reached the end of growth and progression? How admirable is possessing a broad and spacious estate and garden if its resources have been squandered and no moisture remains for habitation and life? Shall a ruler be lord over a people who have abandoned his care because there was no care at all?
“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 6:20-21). Why would someone wish to go into debt for something, the bill only coming due after its usefulness is exhausted?
May we in wisdom lay up treasures in heaven, seeking earthly possession for the good it brings, not solely to have, but to share in human compassion and brotherly love. Let us not look and labor in selfish greed, but treasure those things that will give lasting joy beyond ourselves and into the kingdom that comes. May the oaks of our pure eyes ever reach upward to our Heavenly King, and the gardens of our good hearts be fed with the endless fountain of living water that only our Savior offers. “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33). In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.