WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
FEBRUARY 21, 2021
TOPIC: STORE UP FOR YOURSELF TREASURES IN HEAVEN
BY T. O. BANSO
“Do not store up for yourselves [material] treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store 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 [your wishes, your desires; that on which your life centers] will be also” (Matthew 6:19-21 Amplified Bible).
The Bible tells us to see our stay on earth as temporary. David says, “LORD, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered, and that my life is fleeing away” (Psalm 39:4 New Living Translation). The apostle John tells us, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world — the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life — is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:15-17 New King James Version).
The length of time we spend on earth cannot be compared to the time we shall spend in eternity. Therefore, we should hold lightly to the things of this world. 1 Corinthians 7:31 says, “Those in frequent contact with the things of the world should make good use of them without becoming attached to them, for this world and all it contains will pass away” (New Living Translation).
We must not put our trust in the material things of this world. Jesus says, “Do not store up for yourselves [material] treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store 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 [your wishes, your desires; that on which your life centers] will be also” (Matthew 6:19-21 Amplified Bible).
Nothing is secure here on earth, including material treasures. Unforeseen circumstances such as economic recession or depression, unfavourable government policies, etc. could affect one’s treasures. There is a risk that is associated with every investment on earth. And ultimately, one will leave on earth all the treasures one has been able to gather. Nobody takes his money with him to heaven. Randy Alcorn says, “You can’t take it with you, but you can send it on ahead.”
If anyone is storing up for himself his treasure here on earth, it is most likely that the person will lose his soul and will spend his eternity with the devil, and not with God. Why? Because he won’t be preparing for eternity. His constant concern will be how to gather more and make maximum returns on his investment.
Those who see themselves as permanent residents of the earth don’t store their treasures in heaven. They heap up wealth, live a selfish life, and delude themselves that they can continue to enjoy forever. But death will put an end to that when they least expect it.
This is what the Bible says about the rich fool: “So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.’ 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” (Luke 12:18-21 New King James Version).
The concern of this man was just himself. He excluded God and other people from his thoughts. All he cared about was how to selfishly enjoy the blessings of the Lord. He made no mention of giving to God from what He has blessed him with or blessing other human beings. He did not store his wealth in heaven but on the earth and that same night, he announced his plan to himself, God withdrew his breath from him.
Concluding the parable of the rich fool, Luke 12:21 says, “Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God” (New Living Translation). The New King James Version puts it this way: “So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God” (New King James Version). Don’t be like the rich fool. Store up for yourself treasures in heaven.
How do you store up for yourself treasures in heaven? By being generous to God and His causes on the earth, including contributing financially and materially to God-related projects and programmes. The other way of storing your treasures in heaven is by being generous to fellow human beings, especially the needy, orphans, and widows. “If you help the poor, you are lending to the LORD — and he will repay you!” (Proverbs 19:17 New Living Translation). James 1:27 says, “Pure and lasting religion in the sight of God our Father means that we must care for orphans and widows in their troubles, and refuse to let the world corrupt us” (New Living Translation).
Those who don’t store up for themselves their treasures in heaven are not involved in these types of giving. All their treasures are here on earth; they hoard their wealth and selfishly enjoy it. Although they’re rich while alive, they’re poor after death for they have no treasures stored ahead in heaven. Charles Caleb Colton, a cleric, said, “A man that will not permit his wealth to do any good to others while he is living, prevents it from doing good to himself when he is dead.”
Don’t live your life as the unbelievers or carnal Christians live. They are obsessed with the love of money. Their goal is to make money by hook or by crook and lavish it on satisfying their selfish appetite. “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” (1 Timothy 6:10 New King James Version).
The writer of Ecclesiastes says in Ecclesiastes 5:10-11, “Those who love money will never have enough. How absurd to think that wealth brings true happiness! The more you have, the more people come to help you spend it. So what is the advantage of wealth — except perhaps to watch it run through your fingers!” (New Living Translation).
The time to be rich towards God is today, not tomorrow. Don’t wait till you have millions before you will give to God and His causes on the earth or give to bless others, especially the poor and needy. If you wait till you have plenty, you will never give. “If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done” (Ecclesiastes 11:4 New Living Translation).
Don’t become so attached to the things of this world that you can’t give them away. The rich young ruler was so attached to his wealth that he could obey Jesus’ instructions to go and sell his properties, give the money to the poor and he would have treasure in heaven; and then come to follow Him. Matthew 19:22 says when the young man heard the words of Jesus, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
In the world, the emphasis is on grabbing and acquiring. However, in the Kingdom of God, the emphasis is on giving. Luke 6:38 says, “Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you” (New King James Version).
Although you are in this world, you are not of this world (John 15:19). Your citizenship is not of this world but in heaven (Philippians 3:20). Therefore, don’t copy the behavior and practices of the world. “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is” (Romans 12:2 New Living Translation).
Be rich towards God. Don’t be stingy. Givers get more; stingy people lose more. “There is one who scatters, yet increases more; and there is one who withholds more than is right, but it leads to poverty. The generous soul will be made rich, and he who waters will also be watered himself. The people will curse him who withholds grain, but blessing will be on the head of him who sells it” (Proverbs 11:24-26 New King James Version).
The apostle James says to the rich oppressors, “Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you! Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have heaped up treasure in the last days” (James 5:1-3 New King James Version). No child of God should be envious of the prosperity of the wicked or those storing their treasures on earth.
Store up for yourself treasures in heaven. There is a reward waiting for you. Give to the causes of God on earth and to fellow human beings, especially the poor and needy. “For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister” (Hebrews 6:10 11 New King James Version).
Also, never forget to give to His servants particularly those ministering to you. Paul asked the Corinthians, “If we have sown spiritual things for you, is it a great thing if we reap your material things? If others are partakers of this right over you, are we not even more?” (1 Corinthians 9:11-12a New King James Version). Store up for yourself treasures in heaven.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit 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 resurrected 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 the palm tree and grow like the 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: With the help of the Holy Spirit, I shall not store up for myself material treasures on earth, but store up for myself treasures in heaven. I shall be rich towards God and give to the poor and needy and the servants of God. I shall not wait for perfect conditions to sow, I shall sow according to my ability, generously and consistently in Jesus’ name.
(For over 400 in-depth and powerful messages by T.O. Banso, visit: www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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