But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Matthew 6:20, 21.
Here is portrayed the value of eternal riches, in contrast with the treasures of earth. If the purpose and aim of your life is to lay up treasure in heaven, you will be lifted above the base, sordid, demoralizing influence of an inordinate desire to obtain wealth in this life. Laying up treasure in heaven will give nobility to the character; it will strengthen benevolence, encourage mercy; cultivate sympathy, brotherly kindness, and charity. It will unite the soul of man with Christ, by links that can never be broken. You may lay up for yourselves treasure in heaven by being rich in good works—rich in imperishable and spiritual things.
The instruction is to “lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven.” It is for our own interest that we secure heavenly riches. God is not benefited by our benevolence. The cattle upon a thousand hills are His. “The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof.” Psalm 24:1. But in using the gifts that He has entrusted to our care for the salvation of souls, we transfer our wealth to the treasury of heaven. When we are seeking the glory of God, and hasting unto the day of God, we are colaborers with Christ, and our joy is not a base and fleeting emotion; but it is the joy of our Lord. We are elevated above the corroding, perplexing cares of this frail, fickle world.
While we are in this world, we are subject to losses and disappointments. Thieves break through and steal; moth and rust corrupt; fire and storm sweep away our possessions…. How many have devoted life and soul to acquiring wealth, but were not rich toward God; and when adversity came upon them, and their possessions were swept away, they had nothing laid up in heaven. They had lost all—both temporal and eternal riches….
Everything that is laid up upon earth may be swept away in a moment; but nothing can disturb the treasure that is laid up in heaven.12The Review and Herald, September 18, 1888.