Jesus said, “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 do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19–21).
I believe that “treasures on earth” include money and material things. These are the things that we tend to prize during our lifetime but that will have no importance when we get to heaven. The apostle Paul made it clear: “For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it” (1 Timothy 6:7).
On the other hand, “treasures in heaven” include things that will be important to us when we get to heaven. I believe that “treasures in heaven” include salvation (as one’s salvation will last for eternity) and the rewards in heaven that God promises to his faithful stewards.
The concept of rewards in heaven is difficult to grasp in concrete terms, because we don’t really know what heaven will be like, and scripture does not explicitly describe heavenly rewards. However, it is important to realize that what we do here on earth does have an effect on what awaits us in heaven. 1 Timothy 4:7 tells us that “godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” Godliness includes the way we handle our finances.
We read about treasures in heaven again in 1 Timothy 6:18, 19: “Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.”
In the Parable of the Talents, the concept of rewards is specifically linked to faithful financial stewardship. To servants who have been faithful stewards, God has promised that he will put them “in charge of many things” and that they will enjoy happiness with their master. Jesus said, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” (Matthew 25:21).
As human beings, it is easy to get focused on money and material things that we can enjoy while we are here on earth. However, because money and material things are temporary, it is the wise Christian who focuses on “treasures in heaven.” Colossians 3:1, 2 states, “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”
May I encourage you to take a few minutes right now, and pray, asking God to reveal to you how you need to adjust your focus from treasures on earth to treasures in heaven.