Read Matthew 6:19-21
Many of us have a box tucked far away in the corner of the basement. A box that contains awards that long ago were displayed proudly on a shelf. The memories of recognition by a coach, teacher or leader make us smile. Now the prized trophies, which once held a place of honor, are scratched, tarnished and forgotten or traded for other earthly treasures.
Jesus commands against storing up treasures here on earth, getting attached to things of temporary value. In the race of life, what motivates you? A better job? A grander house? A higher degree? None of those things are wrong, they are perishable. On the contrary, Jesus commands us to store up treasures in Heaven which are eternal!
“Do you not know that in a race all runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.”
As believers in Jesus Christ, our prize is to spend eternity in His presence. Totally undeserved, not earned, but solely on the work of Jesus Christ on the cross and His glorious resurrection allows us to receive such a gift! The treasure of Heaven!
But Jesus commands us to store up treasures in Heaven that cannot be destroyed or stolen. This is our effort in living out the Christian life and someday God will reward us based on how we have lived.
“Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.”
A crown that will last forever- it can’t rust or be destroyed.
The Bible refers to several of these imperishable crowns:
The Crown of Life
“Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.” – James 1:12
Many of us have not endured persecutions, but we have all known trials. Are you persevering even through difficulties? Are you running the race with endurance fixing your eyes on Jesus (Hebrews 12:1-2)?
The Crown of Righteousness
“In the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.” – 2 Timothy 4:8
The time is drawing near for Jesus to return. Are you loving and looking for Him or are you attached to this world?
The Crown of Rejoicing
“For what is our hope, or joy or crown of rejoicing? Are not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?” – 1 Thessalonians 2:19
Who is your joy and crown that you have influenced for the sake of the gospel? Who will be in His presence because God used you as a witness?
As you contemplate these crowns, what’s in your heavenly treasury? I believe that someday we will take our cue from the twenty-four elders gathered around God’s throne and we will cast our crowns before the throne to the only One who is worthy (Revelation 4:10).
Do you find yourself storing up earthly treasures? How can you shift your focus to heavenly treasures? What kind of impact can you make that will have heavenly implications?