Our church has been going through the Sermon on the Mount and one of the upcoming messages will be on storing treasures up in Heaven. Here's a couple tidbits I'm chewing on.
1. I've always assumed that storing up treasures in heaven meant something futuristic...but when you look at the context of the Sermon on the Mount...Jesus is talking about a kingdom that is happening right now..."Blessed are the poor in Spirit for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven." It doesn't say...theirs will be the kingdom of heaven when this life passes away. With this being said...its really important that we note that following Christ is not so much about being saved FROM something (future damnation...though this is definitely a reality) but it is about being saved FOR something...namely to serve God.
2. Treasure by God's standard is not monetary wealth...though this can be part of it...It is primarily about being rich towards God and towards others. Read 1 Timothy 6 and see what a good definition of being rich is.
3. When Jesus delivers the knockout blow of this passage and says "No one can serve two masters...you cannot serve both God and Money," the word choice makes all the difference. In the Greek NT there are two options that get translated 'serve'...The first is choosing to serve...Like if I get invited to preach at a church...If I say yes, it is because I am choosing to serve...The second is the Greek word doulos which is better understood as 'slave' than as 'servant'. This type of 'serving' is not optional...it is demanded of us by our master. DOULOS IS THE WORD JESUS USES HERE. So, in essence, your master will indicate where you spend your time serving.
To put this all in perspective then...if I follow Jesus, I must be rich towards God...This isn't always easy...We had a SuperBowl party with some friends and one of the guys said jokingly that our living room made my TV look small...And there was something in me that got me thinking that I should get something bigger. something better. And in the same span of time...a friend of ours sent a letter saying that she was going to have to stop ministry on college campuses for a few months because her financial support had dwindled too low...and I immediately tried to justify reasons why not to give to her...
You're either rich towards God or rich towards yourself...Its not hard to figure out...Just look at your last month's spending and you'll get a pretty good idea.
Slave to God or Slave to your pocketbook?