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  • Writer's pictureRob

The Eighty-Eighth (Treasure in Heaven)

How did your week end up? Ours was pretty good, so I hope yours was even better! I think I've mentioned before that I am by no means an expert in the Word. We started this newsletter to share what we learn as we dig into scripture and as we feel the Holy Spirit leads. Sometimes that involves some course corrections along the way!

This week, we're going to talk about the most recent course correction received. It's not so much that we were way off course, but just a minor tweak to get more specific on something. This week is definitely something to pray about, seeking the Holy Spirit's guidance as with anything regarding scripture.

Last week, we talked about thanksgivings being the treasure Jesus talked about storing in heaven (Matthew 19:21). We have also looked at the different references to treasure previously. While I do believe that thanksgivings are heard in heaven, something hit me this week about this concept of storing treasure in heaven.

This man Jesus talked to chose to approach Him and ask what he needed to do to have eternal life (Matthew 19:16). It was due to the man's initiative that this interaction happened. Many focus on the end of this exchange and point out how this man was so focused on his worldly possessions he didn't want to give them up even for eternal life. I mean, I even pointed it out last week!

However, this isn't the first time Jesus talked about selling everything you have. When talking to His disciples, He also mentioned selling everything and giving to the needy (Luke 12:33). This was in the context of not worrying about anything because God will provide (Luke 12:22-31). And again, here Jesus talks about treasure. This time, He talked about your heart being where your treasure is (Luke 12:34).

So we don't get any more insight here as to what this treasure is. Let's take a closer look at the prerequisites for this treasure: sell all you have and give to the poor (Matthew 19:21). That's it, right? Well, let's back up a bit because Jesus first told this rich man that in order to have eternal life he had to keep the commandments. Notice the last commandment Jesus listed though, which interestingly isn't recorded in Luke's account of this interaction: love thy neighbor as thyself (Matthew 19:19).

The rich young man thought he had this in the bag. He thought he had kept all the commandments, however Jesus knew better. When you've got all the riches this man had, how can you be loving your neighbor when there's needy people out there? Jesus knew this man was not embodying loving his neighbors as himself, but He also knew this man didn't know what that truly meant.

So, Jesus tried to point it out by telling Him to give what he had to the poor. We talked about thanksgivings being a result of giving to the poor, but what about something deeper and more meaningful? What is a natural question, especially to wealthy people, when they give things away? "Why?" This person has it all, why do they feel the need to give it away? Are they trying to look good? Are they trying to write it off for taxes? Are they thinking of harming themselves? Well, what if the person said the reason was Jesus?

Sure, you'll have those that dismiss that answer and those that don't even believe it. But what about those that hear it and are moved to seek Jesus? to seek the Kingdom? That rich person giving their possessions away has a chance of turning to Jesus the hearts of not only those that receive the possessions, but those that observe the process.

Keeping that in mind, let's jump back in time from this rich man and see what happened with the disciples. When Jesus approached the first group of disciples, do you remember what He said? He said, "Follow Me," of course, but then what? "I will make you fishers of men." (Matthew 4:18).

So if we follow Jesus, what will we become? Fishers of men. So if that rich young ruler had sold all he had and followed, he would have also become a fisher of men. And where are these "men-fish" going to end up? In heaven!

Have you put it together yet? I believe the treasures we are laying up in heaven are saints, believing in Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord! Think about it. Following the commandments are associated with receiving eternal life, while giving all you have to the poor, and following Jesus, is associated with receiving treasures in heaven. What if those treasures are those individuals that we helped save that we will live forever with in heaven. We are told that once we are part of the body, our citizenship is in heaven so those that convert are also citizens (Philippians 3:20).

Now, I have no idea what heaven is like. Maybe, even with having eternal life, not having to worry about anything, and being able to talk with Yehovah and Jesus there's some crazy awesome stuff up there that we will find some value in. Stuff that we might treasure. But I submit to you for your consideration the possibility that with the fact that God creates everything in the New Heaven and New Earth, He can literally create anything on a whim, and we have eternal life, that which we treasure will be those we spend eternity with.

Pray about it and see what the Holy Spirit says!

Shabbat shalom and God bless you!

-Rob and Sara Gene

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