A Lesson From the Trash Can

     "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 moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."  Matthew 6:19-2

My children, ages 9 and 11, each possess a small box of treasures they have collected over the years.  I remember having a similar box myself growing up.  What is interesting is how our perspective changes over time.  Most of what seemed of immense value to me as a kid, now is lost, destroyed or has found its way to the trash can.

 As adults, our lives and homes are like those treasure boxes.  We men like cars and tools and sports equipment and entertainment systems.  Women care more for... Well, I'll let you women finish that sentence.  We work very hard to make sure that we can continue placing new things into our treasure box.  But we don't often pause to think about how yesterday's treasures are going into today's trash.

There are very few treasures that do not diminish with time.  Some may think this is just the way things are.  But there is a lesson to be learned here.  Our present world, due to its being subjected to decay because of our sin, is not intended to have lasting value.  God intends us to hold the temporary treasures of this world loosely and to store up treasures in heaven.

What are those heavenly treasures?  Consider those treasures that do not fade with time.  At the top of the list are relationships, especially those centered on Jesus Christ.  A good relationship is a treasure that lasts because the souls of men and women are eternal. 

The highest and most permanent human relationship is that of marriage.  Even though marriage as an institution will not exist in heaven, the fellowship and unity of the relationship will surely carry on.  How tragic and ironic that this has become one of the least permanent relationships in our society.  Far too often the marriage relationship simply gets crowded out.  and what crowds it out?  Other "treasures" that will fill tomorrow's trash can.

Another treasure that does not fade with time is the treasure of a good character.  Hair thins, skin wrinkles, beauty fades, but the pleasure of being a man or woman of character only increases with age.  Reflecting the character of Christ in our own thoughts, words and deeds will follow us into eternity.

But a good character is not built in a day.  Its rewards are lasting, but usually delayed.  And we hunger and thirst for immediate gratification.  Today's treasures consume our heart and tomorrow's virtues are lost in the shuffle.

 No treasure is more lasting than that of knowing Jesus Christ.  Intimacy with Jesus and obedience to His Word are the fuel that feeds the soul.  The eternal value of finding full and complete forgiveness and freedom from sin's power is worth more than all the treasures of this world.  Those who have experienced this treasure can no longer be consumed with the trinkets that previously held their hearts.  And it would be the height of folly to leave this eternal treasure and ever again set their hearts on that which "rust destroys" and "thieves break in and steal."

Knowing Jesus is delighting in Jesus.  Treasuring Jesus is impossible while we continue to store up treasures on earth. 

What treasures filled your treasure box as a child?  What treasures fill your treasure box today?  Take inventory of your home and activities.  Or maybe even better, take a good look at what is lying in the trash can. 

Will you arrive at the end of your life only to discover that you have exchanged true treasures for those which are not really treasures at all? 

God is not so much interested in whether you say you value him.  Words are cheap.  Even though he already knows your heart, he is also looking at your treasures.  They do not lie.  for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.