“Don’t store up treasures on earth. Moths and rust eat it away, and robbers will break in and steal it. No: store up for yourselves treasures in Heaven!” Matthew 6:19-20
What practical value does treasure have in Heaven?
Can you spend it?
Can you eat it?
Does it give you life?
Jesus gives a sound argument for storing your treasures in Heaven instead of on earth: security.
Thieves do not break in and steal the treasure in Heaven.
Still, what practical use is heavenly treasure if the streets in Heaven are paved with gold?
The modern Western world greatly misunderstands the relationship between Heaven and earth. Heaven and earth are not far apart as we imagine. The resources of Heaven are not stored up far away for someday down the road when we arrive in Heaven (where they would be useless to us). No, the point of having resources in Heaven is for the sake of accessing them now to accomplish God’s purposes on earth.
“We always thank God, the Father of our Lord, King Jesus, when we pray for you because we have heard of your faith in King Jesus and the love you have for all God’s holy people, because of the hope which is kept safe for you in the heavenly places.” Colossians 1:5
The theologian, NT Wright, says, “If I came home from a long day of work and my wife says to me, ‘I have kept some supper warm for you in the oven,’ She does not expect me to climb into the oven to eat it.”
“Stored up in heaven” does not mean that we don’t have access to it here and now. Or that we must get into Heaven to make use of it. It means that it is kept safe for us in God’s presence. We can access it, but thieves cannot.
You can spend all your life building up resources of money, buildings, businesses, and other assets. But at what point do these things become helpful to you? I painted houses for wealthy people for many years of my life. So many people buy houses for “investments” but never for a home. What is the end goal?
George Mueller started an orphanage in Bristol, England, in the early 1800s. He had no money and no patrons. He did not tell anyone except His Father in Heaven what his needs were. He determined that he would access all that he needed through prayer. Before the end of his life, George Mueller had three large buildings and an organization that housed and fed hundreds of orphans and brought many of them to Christ. Mueller acquired all of that by utilizing prayer alone.
George Mueller had treasure in Heaven that he accessed to bring the rule of Heaven to earth.
It is no mistake that Jesus taught the disciples to store up treasures in Heaven immediately after leading them to pray: