WHAT ARE WE DOING WITH OUR TREASURES?
When I was living in West Texas, I worked for a construction company that employed a number of migrant workers from Old Mexico. Most of these Mexican workers were men who left their families in Mexico, and came up for the summer to work on the road crews. These men would get together and rent a small house, where sometimes as many as twenty men would live together, sharing their expenses.
Many times they would pool their money and buy an old car or pickup to have transportation while they were here working. These migrant workers didn’t make a lot of money, but because of their frugal lifestyle, they were able to save most of the money they made. Every payday, the post office would be full of migrant workers buying money orders to send the bulk of their earnings to their families in Mexico for safekeeping.
I was told that though their wages were low, the cost of living was so much lower in Mexico that the money they could make here in just one summer would support their family there for years. Those migrant workers were sending home every dollar they could for safekeeping, because they knew it was of greater value there than it was here.
What an object lesson. We as Christians, are living as “Migrant Workers” here on earth. We are told in 1 Peter 1:17, “…Pass the time of your sojourning in fear.” We sing the words of the song:
“This world is not my home,
I’m just a passing through;
My treasures are laid up,
Somewhere beyond the blue…
One of the characteristics of God’s people has always been their knowledge that this life on earth is temporary. In Hebrews 11, speaking of previously mentioned heroes of faith, verses 13-16 states: “…These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly.”
Understanding that this life is temporary and the material things that we acquire will perish, should help us to make better use of our money. It should help us to better understand the exhortation of Jesus in Matthew 6: 19-21:
“…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.”
The apostle Paul tells us in I Timothy 6:18-19, how we go about laying up for ourselves treasures in heaven: “That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate, laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.”
The disciples of the first century understood this concept and put it into practice. We are told in Acts 2:44-45 and in Acts 4:32-35 that they sold their possessions and gave to anyone in need.
What was it that made those migrant workers live such frugal lives and send the bulk of their earnings back to Mexico? Because that was their home….where their heart was…and they lived in hopes of going back to be with their families and enjoying the treasures they had sent there for safekeeping.
When we come to fully understand that this world is not our home and that all the things this world has to offer are temporary and will perish with the using, then we will understand the importance of laying up our treasures in heaven.
We will then understand the folly of an extravagant and wasteful lifestyle, and we will see the value in using our material possessions to serve God by doing good and being generous and helping those around us who are in need. In this way we will be laying up for ourselves treasures in our heavenly home, where they will be safely stored and kept, awaiting our arrival. What are you doing with your treasures?
– Wendell Ingram, Via House to House Publication