“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal.” Matthew 6:19, TLV
Treasures of the Heart. Jesus continues His “Sermon on the Mount” in chapter 6 (and seven). In chapter 6, as is notable in today’s verse, is the term, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth.” Really, this is the theme of the first twenty-four verses of chapter six.
It’s not about treasuring treasures like property, commerce, jewels, et. al. What we might consider earthly treasures in this verse is much broader when taken in context with the whole chapter.
“Beware of practicing your righteousness before others to be seen by them; otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven.” (vs. 1, TLV)
To advertise our good works is a form of storing up treasure for ourselves — we’re getting that attention for our altruism.
“When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Amen, I tell you, they have their reward in full!” (vs. 5, TLV)
Showy piety — oh, don’t get me started on that one — only grabs the attention of those around them, not our Father.
But if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions. (vs. 15, TLV)
This is another earthly treasure, self-righteousness. What does our self-righteous look like? Filthy rags (Isaiah 64:5). We can be forgiven our sins, but we can’t forgive others because they have offended us? Not good. The LORD doesn’t play that game. Criticism and judgment can fall into that category, too.
“And whenever you fast, do not become sad-faced like the hypocrites, for they neglect their faces to make their fasting evident to men. Amen, I tell you, they have their reward in full!” (vs. 16, TLV)
Another form of ostentatious piety. All that fasting and nothing to really “show” for it. All earthly treasures.
What are the eternal treasures? Those we can’t see or show off to others.
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. (vs. 21, TLV)
This is where examining our heart — our motives — for GOD’s work is so important. The treasures of the heart are humility, gratitude, a kind and honorable point-of-view. We seek justice for the oppressed. Set our eyes and mind on things that are pure and beautiful. Rejoice with those who rejoice. Weep with those who weep. Live a life of integrity — without seeking praise.
Let all praise and honor go to our LORD and take none for ourselves. Those are eternal treasures — treasures of the heart.
Why do we store up these treasures? Because He first loved us. Before we gave a hoot about our Creator — our Heavenly Father — He sent His Son to demonstrate His love. To atone for the sins separating us from Him. Really, that’s the greatest treasure of all.