Monday, 15 February 2016

To Truly Love God is to Lay up Treasures in Heaven for His Sake and His Sake Alone, Not for One's own sake at all

 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also (Matthew 6:19-21).

Jesus makes it very clear that where one's treasure is, there will be one's heart (Matthew 6:21). The statement "where your treasure is, there will your heart be also" is preceded by the word 'for'. This means that Matthew 6:21 is a conclusion which derives from the previous verses. In Matthew 6:19-20, Jesus is commanding people to lay up treasures in heaven,  instead of laying up treasures on earth. He explains why in Matthew 6:21, which says "for where you treasure is, there will your heart be also". This is not saying that a person who seek to gain for himself, whether it be earthly riches, or heavenly riches. It is not saying that a person should do things so that he will gain more heavenly riches. It is not about gaining for oneself at all. 

Rather, Jesus was saying that a person whose heart is truly right with God, whose heart is with God, is one who would not seek earthly riches, but rather, one who would seek first the Kingdom of God, or Kingdom of Heaven: 

Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you (Matthew 6:31-33). 


As the old hymn Be Thou My Vision goes:

Riches I heed not, nor man's empty praise;
Thou mine inheritance, now and always;
Thou and thou only, first in my heart,
High King of heaven, my treasure thou art.

A person whose heart is right with God, that is, in the Kingdom of God or Kingdom of Heaven, is one whose heart is set on the things of Heaven. This, however, in no way means that the person sets his heart on the Kingdom of God for his own self-gain. No! He sets his heart on the Kingdom of God, not for his self-gain, but rather because He seeks first the righteousness of God, and loves God. 

A person who truly loves God sets his heart on the Kingdom of God because God is there, and God is his ultimate desire. He does not set his heart on the Kingdom of Heaven because of the heavenly riches, ultimately for his own gain. The belief that one should seek heavenly riches, not for God's sake, but for one's own sake, for one's own riches, is indeed the foundation of the prosperity "gospel". 

When Jesus said "for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also" in Matthew 6:21, He meant that where one's treasure is, is itself and indication of where one's heart is. A person's heart is only truly with God is he has no desires, or anxieties for earthly things, including basic earthly needs. As long as one has any desire or anxiety or any earthly temporal things, including food and clothing, his heart is not right with God. as Jesus indicates in Matthew 6:24-25:

 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

This is indeed very hard for many to accept. It is very likely that many of those who do not feel challenged by this verse do not understand what it truly means. However, these are the words of Christ Himself, and if anyone does not accept it, he will not, nor cannot enter the Kingdom of God (Matthew 16:24; Mark 8:34; Luke 9:23; 14:27). He means what He says,  and to soften its meaning, or add nuance to anything He says is utter blasphemy, despicable, abominable, disgusting blasphemy. 

When He says no one can serve both God and mammon, and so therefore, do not take thought for your life (Matthew 6:24-25), He means it. Anything that falls short of it is not worthy of Him. This means that to take even the slightest thought for one's life and be anxious about obtaining one's earthly needs, including food and clothing, is in and of itself to not live a life worthy of Him.  

To truly love God is to lay up treasures in Heaven, not for one's own sake in any way at all, but for purely the sake of seeking God and God alone.