WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
JUNE 15, 2022
TOPIC: LAY UP FOR YOURSELF TREASURE IN HEAVEN
BY T. O. BANSO
“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. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-21 New King James Version).
God wants His children to prosper but they must not go about it the wrong way. They must not seek wealth the way unbelievers do. Getting wealth through sinful ways is unacceptable to God, as this has negative consequences here on earth and will eventually make the owners spend eternity in hellfire.
1 Timothy 6:9-10 says, “But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows” (New King James Version).
The blessing of the LORD makes a person rich, and He adds no sorrow with it (Proverbs 10:22). But getting rich through unbiblical ways brings sorrow. Proverbs 21:6 says getting treasures by a lying tongue is the fleeting fantasy of those who seek death. The New Living Translation puts the verse this way: “Wealth created by a lying tongue is a vanishing mist and a deadly trap.”
The Bible also says that the treasures of wickedness profit nothing, but righteousness delivers from death (Proverbs 10:2). In other words, “Tainted wealth has no lasting value, but right living can save your life” (New Living Translation).
As much as God wants you to prosper, you must not violate His Word to gain wealth. “Wealth gained by dishonesty will be diminished, but he who gathers by labor will increase” (Proverbs 13:11 New King James Version). What will it profit you if you gain the whole world, and lose your soul? (Mark 8:36).
However, getting wealth the right way is not the only thing you must note; you must also note that God does not want you to be possessed by your wealth. He doesn’t want you to become a slave to your wealth or your wealth to become the idol you worship. God doesn’t want you to become greedy or covetous. Your conduct should be without covetousness; you should be content with what you have (Hebrews 13:5). Ecclesiastes 5:10 says, “He who loves silver will not be satisfied with silver; nor he who loves abundance, with increase. This also is vanity” (New King James Version).
How can we overcome the danger of wealth? The solution is in these words of Jesus: “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. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-21 New King James Version). A similar warning is recorded in Luke 12:33-34.
The Greek word for “lay up” is thesaurizo, which means to amass or reserve. Also, the Greek word for treasures/treasure in the scripture is thesaurus, which means a deposit, i.e. wealth. Jesus said we should not amass wealth here on earth because of the danger of doing so. There is the danger of moth and rust destroying it and burglars breaking in and stealing it. In summary, wealth could be lost or stolen.
This happens in different ways today through all forms of misfortune and uncertainties, causing the owners serious pain and regret. The Bible warns us not to put our trust in our wealth. “Will you set your eyes on that which is not? For riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away like an eagle toward heaven” (Proverbs 23:5 New King James Version).
Instead of amassing wealth here on earth only to lose it, Jesus said we should lay it up in heaven where safety is guaranteed, and doing so ensures that our hearts are in the right place. Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. If your treasure is in heaven, your heart will also be in heaven. The converse is also true.
After Jesus’ conversation with the Rich Young Ruler in Matthew 19:16-22, which is also recorded in Luke 18:18-23, Jesus looked said to His disciples, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!’ And the disciples were astonished at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, ‘Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God” (Mark 10:23-25 New King James Version).
Take note of the phrase “how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God!” Don’t put your trust in your treasure or wealth. Don’t forget the danger of the moth, rust, and thieves. Lay up or store up your wealth in heaven. How do you do this? Jesus told the Rich Young Ruler, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me” (Matthew 19:21 New King James Version). You lay up your treasure in heaven by giving to the poor and needy and following Jesus.
You lay up your treasure in heaven by being rich towards God. This includes giving to the poor and needy, God’s work and causes on earth, especially soul winning. It also includes giving to God’s servants. Paul mentioned how the Philippians gave him financial help and even sent aid more than once for his necessities when he was in Thessalonica (Philippians 4:15-16). He also said Onesiphorus often refreshed him and was not ashamed of his chain (2 Timothy 1:16). In 2 Corinthians 8, Paul talked about the generosity of the churches of Macedonia (Philippi, Thessalonica, and Berea) in sending money to the impoverished Christians in Jerusalem.
The Rich Fool in Luke 12 was selfish and not rich towards God. He said he would say to his soul that it had many goods laid up for many years and should take its ease, eat, drink, and be merry (verse 19). “But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’ So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God” (verses 20-21 New King James Version).
Lay up your treasure in heaven. Be rich towards God. Proverbs 19:17 says he who has pity on the poor lends to the LORD, and He will pay back what he has given. The Bible says that he who has a generous eye will be blessed, for he gives of his bread to the poor (Proverbs 22:9). Also, Proverbs 28:27 says he who gives to the poor will not lack but he who hides his eyes will have many curses.
Support God’s causes on earth with your resources and you will be laying up your treasure in heaven. Don’t store it up here on earth. Whatever you amass, you will leave behind when you die; you won’t take it to heaven. But by storing your wealth in heaven, you’re making a wise investment ahead. Don’t make your wealth your god. Serve God with your wealth. You cannot serve God and mammon (Matthew 6:24; Luke 16:13). Use your wealth to do good and don’t grow weary while doing good, for, in due season, you shall reap if you don’t lose heart (Galatians 6:9). You will reap both the earthly and heavenly rewards.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: I shall not be possessed by the love of money in Jesus’ name. I shall not fall into the temptation of gaining wealth through unbiblical means. Holy Spirit, help me to lay up my treasure in heaven, not on earth. Help me to be rich towards God and not be selfish. I pray that the church will become more generous in giving to the poor and needy, Kingdom projects, and the servants of God in Jesus’ name.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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