Imperishable Riches

“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, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal” (Matthew 6:19-20).

Few things in life are “in the bag” so to speak. The old adage rings true, “Nothing is certain but death and taxes.” From a human standpoint, we have no guarantees. Some have discovered this truth painfully. The athlete relies on physical attributes and skills only to get taken out with a career destroying injury. The hard-pressing entrepreneur builds a thriving business only to see it go down the drain because emerging technology replaces that business model. Then when we consider the ups and downs of life that we could not predict, we confess that we function without certain guarantees.

But we actually do have guarantees promised by God Himself. When we labor for Him and live our lives according to His purpose, He guarantees our works will not be forgotten. In the verses above from Matthew, Jesus warns against laboring for the wrong rewards. How does He identify such rewards? By their short-lived duration. Either what we possess today we will lose tomorrow, or what we possess today will outlast us. One way or the other, we cannot enjoy such things.

But God directs us to labor for rewards that last, those things done in His name. The world won’t understand you spending time reading God’s Word, attending church and serving. But God smiles on your labors for Him and will reward them handsomely. Furthermore, your labors will not disappear from God’s sight:

“And I heard a voice from heaven saying, ‘Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’ ‘Blessed indeed,’ says the Spirit, ‘that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them ’ ” (Revelation 14:13).

God calls our works done for Him “treasures” of lasting value. The pursuit of either godly virtues or worldly gain separates the wise from the foolish. The wise will take Christ’s warning not to spend their days on things that carry no eternal weight. Foolish people, on the other hand, labor for the spoils of this world that will lead to certain disappointment. May God fill us with His wisdom as we labor for rewards of lasting value.

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