How much confidence do we place in wealth or possessions? Their real value is how we use them to prepare for heaven. In fact, as we consider the life that is to come, suffering may be worth more than money.
32 Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Jesus begins by reassuring us that it is the Father’s “good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” It is not something we have to compete for, haggle over or bid on like participants in an auction. He wants to give the kingdom to us as members of his royal family. But do we want what the Father wants to give?
Maybe. Or yes, probably so, deep down, when we are quietly thinking about the subject. But how often do we think so quietly? In the systematic blur of day-to-day endeavors and obstacles, we may never quietly think about we want deep down and long-term. By “long-term” I mean in eternity. Really long-term.
Jesus knows this about us. So he immediately teaches us how to get our hearts in the right place. The next two verses tell us how to get our hearts in proper alignment with God’s, and it all starts with our treasure.
It may involve giving up some of our treasure here on earth, such as selling things and giving to the needy. There is be more to it, of course, but it is not Jesus’s goal to give us a lengthy how-to lesson. That might only bog us down in the details and distract us from his ultimate priority. He wants us to store up treasure in heaven. In part, that is so we will have treasure in heaven, plain and simple, which is, in itself, is a good thing. There is, however, something else.
Storing up treasure in heaven taps into an overriding and stable principle, which is “where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Jesus wants us to invest in heaven, because the treasure we have there will ultimately lead our hearts into alignment with God’s while we still inhabit the earth.
We need some skin in the game. If we don’t invest in our heavenly future, we will remain stupidly focused on the here and now. Yet both experience and observation indicate that the here and now becomes the there and then all too soon. Heaven is eternal. There we find “moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys.”
Heaven is where our Father eternally resides. Heaven is where Jesus is now and that is where he wants our hearts. Our hearts invariably follow our treasure; our treasure will lead our hearts.