I posted recently about how alas, the coveted asset of control belongs to basically no one. But… yes, thank God there is a “but;” there are a handful of precious things we DO control. There are some obvious controllables related to our intentionality in life; but there’s one topic that lately I have found myself intrigued by: eternal treasure. There are two kinds of riches available to pursue, one we can see now, and one we can see later. The seen and the unseen (or not seen yet). The temporary or the eternal.
Brief sidenote: Let me take a quick second to highlight what’s perhaps obvious — before you start making investments in eternal treasure, you must first establish your eternal whereabouts. We have a choice in this matter. God doesn’t tell us there’s a Heaven and a Hell, then pat us on the backs and wish us luck in our efforts to get there. That would be the opposite of compassionate, right?! It would make the type A planners in the world go totally insane — assuming there was interest in firming up this reservation. He is VERY clear about how we can make certain of this future. That decision must be made before eternal treasure can even be considered. And then, when your eyes begin to open to what is eternal and what is not, there will likely be a shift in what captures your attention and rallies your excitement. Discernment is peaked in the person enamored by the eternal.
“What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul?… For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done.” — Matthew 16:26a,27
There will be rewards that are lasting. Is your behavior transformed by this truth? Everything we do is an investment into something. What we invest our energies and resources into matters. Jesus made it clear that people matter – people are eternal.
“Jesus answered, ‘If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven…’” — Matthew 19:24
Financial planners will tell you to be smart and invest wisely. Investments take energy. Energy and investments takes up portions of our hearts. We only have one heart. So either we serve the latest demands on our wallets and wardrobes, homes and everything that can be destroyed by moth and rust; or, we serve the God who cherishes and offers eternal treasure. He actually wants us to be eternally wealthy. And I imagine it sickens him when we ignore the one to embrace the other – especially when the other will become a lifeless, worthless pile of ash after we but blink.
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven where moth and rust to not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.” — Matthew 6:19-20
Let me be clear that I do not believe we should not enjoy the beauties he blesses us with; and I do not think that if you are wealthy on this side of Heaven, that you can’t be on the other. I do believe it’s much harder. One of the greatest opponents of an eternal vision is temporary distraction — and our finances do a pretty good job of contributing to that. But I know many extremely financially successful people who I can honestly say are extremely eternally focused. Which leads me to believe that it is less a matter of how much money you have, and more of a matter of where your motivations are fueled, where your heart belongs. Success is not always defined by our finances are they? I’ll be honest: Do I want to someday get our family out of the vehicle we’ve appropriate entitled: “Exploder,” and into a newer more dependable car? Yes. Just yes. We can invest in stuff, but we must be careful not to overlook the eternal for the sake of the temporary. Your heart deserves more than life’s little luxuries that can dangerously distract from true treasure. Whatever you hold dearest is what has your heart.
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” — Matthew 6:21
My sweet friends, where does the fruit of your life declare that your heart belongs?