The one who has God for his treasure has all things in One.A. W. Tozer
This series is about using Jesus’ image of building Treasure in Heaven to help us understand the life of Christian discipleship. The image of treasure focuses us on what is of central importance. It is also an image of desire. People will sacrifice much to find ‘hidden treasure.’ Before I continue in my series, I want to remind us what Jesus is telling us with this image of building Treasure in Heaven.
What does it mean to store up treasure in heaven? First, building treasure in heaven is NOT about getting points with God. It is NOT about impressing God. It is NOT about completing a religious checklist of dos and don’ts. Storing treasure in Heaven is NOT about God rewarding us with material wealth because we have done spiritual good in obedience. In fact, it is NOT about getting anything from God.
A Simple Answer
What Treasure in Heaven IS has a simple answer. Our treasure that exists in heaven is God himself. God is our treasure. The cultivation of a vibrant, living relationship with the source of all wonder, beauty and goodness IS the treasure.
Our hearts ultimately long for God. C.S. Lewis reminds us that all longings and desires in this world are really for God. The reason is that in the end material things don’t quench longing. They satisfy for a while, but we always long for more, for something else. He writes, “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.” St. Augustine echoes this in his prayer: “Our hearts are restless until they rest in you, O Lord.”
Treasure in Heaven in the Bible
The scriptures are full of this invitation to see God as our treasure.
- Taste and see that the Lord is good. — Psalm 34
- And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. — Isaiah 58:11
- But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. — Matthew 6:33
- Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. — Psalm 103
- The fear of the Lord leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied. — Proverbs 19:23
I could go on and on, but I think you see the point. The whole reason for a life of following Jesus as disciples is because he leads us to God, who is our true treasure. To live as disciples with Justice, Mercy and Faith as well as with Faith, Hope and Love IS what life looks like with God at the center.
God does want to transform us into the works of art that we were created to be. We build treasure in heaven when we open our hearts to God and ask for his transforming love. This is the true identity we find in God. It is okay that we don’t get this perfectly right. As I said, it is not about winning points with God. God is a God of grace and love.