Day 19

God and Possessions

from the The Sermon on the Mount reading plan

Matthew 6:19-24, Proverbs 28:22, Luke 12:13-21, Ephesians 5:5, 1 Timothy 6:17-19

BY Guest Writer

Scripture Reading: Matthew 6:19-24, Proverbs 28:22, Luke 12:13-21, Ephesians 5:5, 1 Timothy 6:17-19

Look around you and consider this: it will all make a good bonfire some day.

Somewhere along the line, that little catchphrase got filed in my heart. I find it equal parts jarring and comforting. Jarring because so much of what I’ve spent my life building is destined to pass away. Comforting because I have assurance that the laundry that needs folding and the bills that need to be paid and the floors that need mopping won’t be going with me into eternity. (Amen!)

Jesus is not anti-treasure. He’s the one who buried diamonds in the caves of Africa and gold in the mountains of Colorado. He also buried a craving for treasure deep inside our hearts. He wants us to be treasure hunters. But the kind of treasure we’re hunting matters. Here, Jesus helps us see that all that shines and glitters must be lumped into one of two categories. Only two. There is no third option.

Don’t store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal” (Matthew 6:19).

Category number one is perishable treasure. Anything you’ve ever bought or built with your own two hands is perishable. Your home, your car, your 401K? Perishable, perishable, perishable. Your wardrobe, your appearance, your accolades and attagirls? Those are all perishable too. So much of our lives is destined to make a good bonfire some day. As we picture the ashes, we are tempted to wonder, What’s left?

Answer: the imperishable.

“But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves don’t break in and steal” (v. 20).

What are these heavenly treasures? God’s Word points us to three things that will last forever: the Word of God (Isaiah 40:8), the people of God (John 3:16), and the kingdom of God (Psalm 45:6). Every penny, every second we invest in these things is untouchable, locked away in a heavenly vault. It cannot rot or rust. It cannot be stolen. It can never be taken away.

Jesus spoke about money and possessions often, but He never branded them as evil, just perishable. As we keep listening to the Sermon on the Mount we see the real reason we need these frequent reminders.

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (v. 21).

You see, it’s not the treasure Christ is concerned about; it’s our hearts. He knows that worshiping our possessions will destroy us (v. 24). Our hearts will begin to rot long before our belongings do. He warns us to “take care and be on [our] guard against all covetousness” (Luke 12:15), not because He is worried we might amass too much treasure. We can’t begin to acquire enough riches to match His. He simply knows the moment is coming when our possessions will go up in smoke. We can buy insurance for our stuff, but Jesus is offering us insurance for our hearts.

Go ahead and buy the new dress you found on sale. Pick out new granite countertops. Keep folding that endless pile of laundry, but know that a day is coming when God will stack all of our belongings together for kindling and strike a match (2 Peter 3:10). As we watch our earthly treasure turn to ashes, may we celebrate our investment in the riches that can never be taken from us.


Erin Davis is an author, blogger, and speaker who loves to see women of all ages run to the deep well of God’s Word. When she’s not writing, you can find Erin chasing chickens and children on her small farm in the Midwest.

Post Comments (48)

48 thoughts on "God and Possessions"

  1. Becky says:

    One of the verses that I find most sobering and frightening is 1 Cor. 3:12,13 where it says that our works will be tested with fire and wood, hay, and stubble will be revealed for what it is. I want to make it my goal to invest in what will last for eternity. But oh, how easy it is to get distracted!

  2. Latrice says:

    I’m imspdrsee. You’ve really raised the bar with that.

  3. Kristen Clegs says:

    Jesus keeps bringing it back to the heart; that’s always the issue. He is so tender and personal as He exhorts us: “lay up treasure in Heaven; set your heart on things above (Col. 3).”
    In essence He’s saying, “I want to capture your heart! I want your motive to be ME! I want your goal to be ME! I want you to treasure ME!”
    But the order in verse 21 implies that “emotions follow motions,” not the other way around. So this is both a promise and a warning – our heart, our treasure, will be lodged in the things we invest our money in, the pursuits we put our time into, the daydreams that fill our free time, the things we need to be happy. Laying up treasure must be intentional, not based on how we feel at the moment, motivated by our knowledge of God’s character. And our heart will follow after, the hard work of investment multiplying our love.

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