How do you make your decisions? How do you spend your time? We find ourselves often fretting and stressing over things that either we cannot change, or in a few moments, days, weeks, or years we will have completely forgotten. This is one of the reasons that Jesus commands us,
– Matt 6.34
Every day has its own tensions, stresses and frustrations. Each day also has its own joys, pleasures and comforts. But how much of what we have done yesterday will last through eternity?
“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.”
– Matt 6.19-21
This is an interesting command. Jesus wants us to build up treasures, just not ones that are earthly. Everything that exists here on Earth, and those fleeting pleasures of affirmation, adoration and approval will pass away. They will rust, they will break down, they will pass. And Jesus, desiring us to have eternal joy and pleasure in God, teaches us that if we store up treasures in eternity, in Heaven, they will give true joy and never pass away.
What does that mean? How do we store up treasures in Heaven? Scripture teaches us that when Christians are judged at the end of time, our deeds will be weighed. Sin and wickedness will be burned up like weeds, but those things we have done to the glory and honor of God will be purified through the fire and come out as gold and precious stones (1 Cor 3.10-15).
What is the most eternal treasure? Other souls in Heaven. The Great Commission was given to us as Jesus final parting words: Go make disciples of all nations (Matt 28.18-20). God desires to use us as a part of His plan to bring other souls to salvation. When we get to Heaven, our works will be judged and there will be actual rewards, but no greater reward than a fellow soul in eternal joy with us.
We will also receive a variety of rewards, like the “crown of life”, the “crown of righteousness” and the “crown of glory” (Rev 2.10, 2 Tim 4.8, 1 Peter 5.4). Some people interpret these verses to be literal crowns, like those awarded to athletes who won at the ancient olympics. I believe the term crown to be figurative of the gift it represents: eternal life, godly righteousness, and our final glorification. We learn elsewhere in Scripture that these are the eternal goals of salvation, and it will be our “crowning glory” to ultimately receive them after the final judgment.
But to whom is rewarded this gifts? Those who persevere until the end. Those who feed the hungry and clothe the naked. Those who make disciples. Those who abide in Jesus. Those who glorify God in everything that they do. Those who are faithful.
These are the things that will matter forever. Not the house you buy, the car you drive or the clothes you wear – unless of course all of these decisions are made with an eternal goal. Perhaps you buy a house to house homeless or that is ready for missionaries as they come through. Perhaps you drive an economic car in which you offer people rides and share the Gospel with them along the way. Perhaps you wear respectable clothes that honor God in the way you present yourself.
Figure out what things will last forever. And focus on doing them. A lot. Nothing else matters.