Wealth and money is very elusive. Eventually all that will matter is eternity with God. We all know we can’t take it with us.
One day not long ago, our next-door neighbor’s house burned down completely. Not a thing was left. It was over in 1 hour although the fire burned on for days. It was stunning. It was a beautiful house. They had taken care to have the nicest (and very expensive) furnishings. They had designer clothes. All the best. Everything was gone. They literally only had the clothes on their backs. That was it.
It became a powerful lesson for me and others. Here today, gone in hours.
Your riches have rotted and your garments have become moth-eaten. Your gold and your silver have rusted; and their rust will be a witness against you and will consume your flesh like fire. It is in the last days that you have stored up your treasure! James 5:2–3 (NASB95)
We are to treasure the Lord Jesus most of all. When Jesus is our treasure, we will commit our resources — our money, our time, our talents — to His work in this world. Our motivation for what we do is important. Paul encourages servants that God has an eternal reward for those who are motivated to serve the Messiah: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Master as a reward. It is the Master Messiah you are serving” (Colossians 3:23–24).
When we live sacrificially for Jesus’ sake or serve Him by serving the body of Jesus, we store up treasure in heaven. Even seemingly small acts of service do not go unnoticed by God. “If anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward” (Matthew 10:42).
- Matthew 6:19 (NASB95) — 19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.
- James 5:2–3 (NASB95) — 2 Your riches have rotted and your garments have become moth-eaten. 3 Your gold and your silver have rusted; and their rust will be a witness against you and will consume your flesh like fire. It is in the last days that you have stored up your treasure!
- Revelation 18:14 (NASB95) — 14 “The fruit you long for has gone from you, and all things that were luxurious and splendid have passed away from you and men will no longer find them.
- Isaiah 64:11 (NASB95) — 11 Our holy and beautiful house, Where our fathers praised You, Has been burned by fire; And all our precious things have become a ruin.
- Kings 24:13 (NASB95) — 13 He carried out from there all the treasures of the house of the Lord, and the treasures of the king’s house, and cut in pieces all the vessels of gold which Solomon king of Israel had made in the temple of the Lord, just as the Lord had said.
- Jeremiah 15:13 (NASB95) — 13 “Your wealth and your treasures I will give for booty without cost, Even for all your sins And within all your borders.
- Jeremiah 17:3 (NASB95) — 3 O mountain of Mine in the countryside, I will give over your wealth and all your treasures for booty, Your high places for sin throughout your borders.
- Jeremiah 20:5 (NASB95) — 5 ‘I will also give over all the wealth of this city, all its produce and all its costly things; even all the treasures of the kings of Judah I will give over to the hand of their enemies, and they will plunder them, take them away and bring them to Babylon.
- Lamentations 1:10–11 (NASB95) — 10 The adversary has stretched out his hand Over all her precious things, For she has seen the nations enter her sanctuary, The ones whom You commanded That they should not enter into Your congregation. 11 All her people groan seeking bread; They have given their precious things for food To restore their lives themselves. “See, O Lord, and look, For I am despised.”
- Hosea 13:15 (NASB95) — 15 Though he flourishes among the reeds, An east wind will come, The wind of the Lord coming up from the wilderness; And his fountain will become dry And his spring will be dried up; It will plunder his treasury of every precious article.
- Obadiah 6 (NASB95) — 6 “O how Esau will be ransacked, And his hidden treasures searched out!