“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 neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-21).
With all the recent devastation in Iowa due to tornadoes and flooding, I have been reflecting a lot on this verse. And after discovering water damage in our own basement just over a week ago, I realized how truly unimportant are the things we “treasure” on this earth–and how truly quickly those “treasures” can be destroyed.
Interestingly enough, it was upon returning home from my grandfather’s funeral, where the preacher had exhorted those in attendance to hang on loosely to earthly possessions, that we found ourselves having to let go of some of our own things. God, in His mercy, had used both the preacher’s words and my grandfather’s life and death to remind us that the “things” of this life do not matter and should not be treasured in our hearts. My grandfather had been a successful and well-respected businessman in his day; but trialsome times came, money got tight, and his fifth-generation family-owned and operated cattle business became nothing but debt. His earthly inheritance had perished, but he had an imperishable inheritance–salvation through faith–waiting for him in heaven.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and fully of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls.” (1 Peter 1:3-9)