Summary: What comes to mind when you hear the term, treasure seekers? Pirates, movies like, The Goonies? The world views treasure much differently than God does. Let's see what constitutes real treasure and determine if we want to be treasures seekers today.
When you think of treasure seekers what do you typically think of? Pirates searching for buried treasure? Movies like Raiders of the Lost Ark, National Treasure or one of my personal favorites-The Goonies? I was reading an article this past week that mentioned treasures. That got me thinking about how the word treasure was used in the bible.
Last week I talked about the encounter Jesus had with the man who wanted him to tell his brother to divide the inheritance with him. Jesus didn't involve himself in judging that case but he did provide a lesson on greed. He said a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions. The world's idea of a treasure is much different than God's idea of one.
1) What do we treasure?
Worldly treasures can be just about anything. As the saying goes, "one man's junk is another man's treasure". But typically, things like money, collectibles or expensive items are worldly treasures. Anything we place a high value on. Sometimes, we can place too high a value on things to where they become an idol. A treasure can refer to something I cherish or adore.
That's where it can become problematic. Even though the word adore can mean love, respect and admire, it can also mean to worship, idolize, glorify, revere. Words like worship, glorify and revere should only be used for God. And scripture warns us that idolizing things or people is never a good thing. It's about priority. Jesus told us our priority should be to store up treasures in heaven and not on earth.
Matt. 6:19-24, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money."
One reason focusing on spiritual treasures is better is because they are eternal, where earthly treasures will eventually perish. A treasure can be worth a lot of money today and be worth much less tomorrow. Even if it has sentimental value there's a chance it can be lost, stolen or broken. Jesus highlights it's a matter of where my heart is. What excites me; where do my passions lie?
Jesus said the eye is the lamp of the body. What do my eyes seek out? What treasure do I find pleasing to the eye? Is money or something material what catches my eye or is it something spiritual? Do I seek after the word of God, opportunities to serve God, sharing the gospel or discipleship? Do I treasure what money can't buy? Am I focused on love, wisdom, knowledge, godliness? What do I treasure? What am I devoted to? What do I put my hope in?
1st Tim. 6:17-19, "Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life."
If I'm arrogant I think that my money or status will always be there and they can get me through anything. But nothing in this world is certain. The only thing that is certain is God. And if my hope is not in money I will be generous with it; I don't have to worry about making sure I hoard it for the future. Not that we don't plan wisely for the future, but our trust and hope is in the God whose storehouse is limitless and can take care of all of our needs.
"Ok, since God's storehouse is limitless let him bless people, why do I have to?" God wants to use us to bless others with some of the blessings we receive from him. When we do, we're blessed too. We receive the benefit of love, compassion, generosity, fellowship, shining the light, etc. Being generous blesses both the giver and the receiver; it gives both an opportunity to see how God can be trusted.