November 24, 2010

Sending Provisions Forward

Matthew 6:19-21

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth … But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven …”
Matthew 6:19-20


The first half of this verse is pretty straightforward: things on this earth change and decay, and they get stolen. So don’t put your hopes and your heart into accumulating all of these things of earthly value.

But the second half of the verse can be puzzling. How can we store up treasures in heaven? Wouldn’t you think heaven is already pretty well stocked with treasures?

Jesus goes on to clarify by saying, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Things of this world do not last. But the things of heaven are everlasting. So why would we want to gather up things that can be easily lost, when life invites an eternal perspective that celebrates living in the joy of God? A wise missionary who later was martyred said, “He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep, in order to gain what he cannot lose.” (See also Mark 8:36.)

Our life in the future with God will be our full life—body and soul—not that of a disembodied spirit. We will share in the goods of God, and we will bring the good fruits of what we have done along with us. The things that can be sent on ahead of us are the virtues we develop and the works of godly love that we do in the power of Christ. Do our expenditures reflect our investment in these deeds of love? These acts of grace cannot rot or be stolen. They last forever.

Lord, thank you for the future that awaits us. Forgive our folly when we try to collect the things of this world, and help us to send our treasure ahead of us to heaven. Amen.

About the author — Kent Van Til

Kent Van Til was a missionary in Costa Rica. He taught theological ethics both there and in the USA. He is the author of four books. The most recent is a spiritual biography of his grandmother entitled, "A Name for Herself: A Dutch Immigrant's Story." Kent likes to fish, hunt, make music, and entertain his grandchildren.

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