“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor dust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.” Matthew 6:19,20
“Treasure” is something we all might love and value! Be it a kid’s game of hunting for treasures or the adults’ routine to save up treasures, it keeps us excited though each of us might have our own choices of those things or people we consider precious. Last month, my city witnessed heavy rains, flooded roads, overflowing and breaching of lakes that ended up in many people losing their lives and their possessions. Heart-melting videos and reports of the tragedy struck places and people were in the news. One such small video clipping showed a woman in tears who narrated how as a group of people they had just run away from their collapsing houses in fear for their lives with nothing in hand. All that they needed now was a small place to lay their heads and food for their starving stomach. This made me reflect on the possible reason why our Heavenly father has taught us to pray “Give us today our daily bread”, which most of us in our luxury and in blind assurance of having it every day do not pray earnestly about. Another shocking incident that occurred the same week was the terrorist attacks in Paris that within few minutes had taken off the lives of hundreds of people. When such natural disasters suddenly show up their head, when unexpected tragedies strike, when we flee for our lives nothing else matters! Not the gold or the silver or the wonderfully constructed houses or the cars. No, not even the basic amenities – ‘food, clothing or shelter’, occupies our mind. Why then do we have so many property disputes, cheating on one another, grabbing of possessions, dowry problem and harassments? My dear friends in Christ, the verse we are meditating upon, for this month, is a warning given by Jesus on the treasures that we accumulate on earth which is prone to destruction and holds no significance in our Spiritual journey. He advices us to start saving up treasures in heaven. What could these treasures in Heaven actually mean? How can we lay up for ourselves treasures over there? As Christians we could do this Treasure Earning by three important steps:
1) The Life we Live: The most important step to our ‘Treasure earning activity’ is the life that we live. Having been created in God’s own image, we have the responsibility and accountability to live a life that will reflect His purpose. Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices (Colossians 3:5-10). Abiding by the Word of God, let us start taking cautious efforts with prayer, to be imitators of Christ in all that we do in our life.
2) The Love we Give: Most of us would have experienced that there is more joy in giving. A life that overflows with Christ gives out love – Love for God, Love for neighbours and Love for Enemies. This love that we give is an important treasure for us as 1 Corinthians 13:13 says, “Three things will last forever–faith, hope, and love–and the greatest of these is love.” Moreover, if “Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love” 1 John 4:8. Numerous people in the world are in search of true love and end up in disastrous relationships or troubles of various kinds. As people who have tasted the most precious love, we ought to give it to all.
3) The Souls we Bring: “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and whoever captures souls is wise” (Proverbs 11:30). The Greatest Commission that is given to us is to go out into the world as witnesses and all the persecutions and insults that are borne on account of our love for Christ, will be rewarded in Heaven (Luke 6:22,23). If we live like Christ and Love our neighbours as our own selves, we will not be able to let the Souls perish in ignorance and in sins.
As we enter this Christmas Season, may we take time to thank God for all His manifold mercies that we take for granted and for this gift of life. The life that we have today may be gone tomorrow; the treasures we save up on earth will not remain with us forever. May we prayerfully start living a life that reflects nothing but Christ, share the Love with the meaning the Very First Christmas has brought to us and diligently win the perishing souls for His Kingdom. Let us start laying up treasures that no one can destroy!