Matthew 6:19-21 (NIV): “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
There are only two places where we can try to store up treasure – that is, two places where our time, attention, and energy can be directed to try to make a future for ourselves.
We can keep our focus on the things of this world, try to “get ahead” or make a name for ourselves. We can attempt to amass wealth, or try to ensure our success here financially or socially. We can name buildings, or schools, or institutions, or even whole towns after ourselves. We can make it into social registers and record books. But in the end, 50 years from now, or 100, or 1000, our names will be supplanted by others who did more, or who did better, or who just did differently. The building we named after ourselves will crumble to dust, or be removed to make way for a new hotel named for someone else. In the end, all that we strove for, all that we believed we had accomplished, will prove to be sadly temporary.
On the other hand, we can keep our focus on the things of the kingdom of heaven. We can spend and be spent building God’s kingdom, helping others to find their place in it, and making an eternal difference in the lives of those who are lost in sin. Though church buildings may crumble, and though donated pianos and bell towers may fall into disuse, when we bring a living soul into the kingdom of God, we are making an investment in eternity. When that person kneels at the foot of the cross and surrenders their life to God, when they receive the light of eternal life, when we help them to grow into a mature disciple, we have been part of something that time and decay can never touch. Only one or two here on earth may know the part that we played in that person’s life, but it will be known by God, and that knowledge will last forever in His heart.
The investments that we make in the kingdom of God are as immutable, as impervious to decay, as eternal as God Himself. THAT is where we should put all of our time, our energy, our focus.
Father, I agree absolutely! I know that there is no “charge” greater than watching a spiritually dead person kneel before Your throne, and mere minutes later, see life looking out from their eyes. There is no greater thrill than to watch someone whom I have discipled leading others into the kingdom and discipling them. It really is an investment that pays dividends now, and that will last through all eternity! Amen.