“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal” (Matthew 6:19-20).
Recently, I was listening to an Old-time preacher talk about Heaven. He was conveying the truth that Heaven is a place. To prove his point, he used the text listed above. We really cannot lay up for ourselves here on earth. Whatever we lay up will be given to someone else when we die or be destroyed by moth and rust. We leave everything behind for someone else.
This does not negate the wisdom of being prepared for the uncertainties of life. God tells us this in Proverbs chapter 6:
6:6 Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:
6:7 Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler,
6:8 Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.
6:9 How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep?
6:10 Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep:
6:11 So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man.
God also tells us in Proverbs 22:3 and 27:12 that the prudent man forseeth the evil and hideth himself. We should prepare and be ready, but always keep in mind that what we lay up here on earth, stays here. There is only ONE place where we can lay up for ourselves, and that place is Heaven. As you prepare and exercise prudence, don’t forget that this life is not forever. We are going somewhere forever.
Have we been laying up for ourselves in Heaven? Have we been using our time, resources, and abilities for what matters most for eternity? Have we been using what God has given us to get the Gospel out to those who have never heard? Have we been using what we have to make God known to others, to bring people close to Him, to make God preeminent in our lives, to bring praise to Him, to serve Him, to worship Him? Have we been giving our tithes and offerings to help the church spread the good news of salvation?
Lastly, notice that the verse says to lay up treasures for yourselves. What is laid up in Heaven will be waiting for us when we get there.
“Only one life so soon it will pass;
Only what’s done for Christ will last.
Only one chance to do His will,
So give to Jesus all your days, it’s the only life that pays
When you recall you have but one life.”
By Lanny Wolfe
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Tom Apusen is an Assistant Pastor at North Valley Baptist Church. He is the pastor of the Filipino Department, and he heads up the missions, security, and transportation ministries.