Can we store up treasure for heaven? Are there things we can take with us? At first glance, it would seem impossible. There is nothing we can do to leap from earth to heaven and, even if we could, what could we possibly take along? An old Spanish proverb has it that there are no pockets in a shroud. And, yes, the Preacher did say that “we all come to the end of our lives as naked and empty-handed as the day we were born” (Eccl. 5:15 NLT).
But there is more to the story than that. Our Father isn’t doing all this enormous work in our lives just so that we can come up empty on the final day. There are plenty of things that we get to take with us–provided of course that sin doesn’t take us the wrong way, away from God and His salvation. So, let’s first of all make sure that we are able to get there when the time comes! (If you have questions or doubts on that score, please see “Salvation Questions” at our website for new life, forerunners4him.org.)
The Master Has Spoken
Jesus settled this question during His very first sermon, the Sermon on the Mount. It turns out, He actually commands us to “lay up treasures in heaven.” Note from the passage that He didn’t describe what those “treasures” might be. Clearly, they are not the material kind that “moth and rust” can destroy. Nor, are they things that “the thief” (old scratch himself) can steal from us. But as you can see, He left the question of their identity open…
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.” Matthew 6:19-20
I’m convinced that the Lord loves to play Hide and Seek and probably was really good at it as a Kid. He loves to get us looking, probing and exploring. In this case, He says that the treasure is here and you CAN take it with you, but leaves it up to us to dig for the answer. These are what I’ve found. If you turn up other treasure, please share the wealth and let me know. In the meantime, let’s look at three things: relationships, acquisitions and pursuits.
You get to take everyone with you that you have formed an eternal bond with. First of all, you get to go into all eternity with every aspect of your relationship with the Father, Jesus and Holy Spirit working for you at the level of development it is at when you die. You don’t “start from scratch” with Them!
You also get to take all your loved ones with you that you have nurtured in the Lord—every saved person in your life whether family or friend, especially the one you led to the Lord yourself. These go into heaven with you, though (hopefully) not all at the same time. But even more, you get to take with you everyone your life in Christ has touched whether by prayer, or by witness, or by giving to ministry–whether you know them or not. You will surely meet them in heaven. Let’s hope that’s more than a handful! See from this perspective, we are truly making friends down here for all of eternity up there.
You get to take acquisitions with you. Not material things of course, but far greater “stuff” like wisdom, knowledge, understanding, integrity, honor, loyalty, love and compassion—all the virtues. These are the “things” we should be cultivating all along. The reward in heaven will certainly be great if we have these wonderful “things” to show for our time down here!
You get to take your pursuits and legitimate passions with you. Do you have a love of natural beauty, of music, of learning, of dance, of worship, of growing things, of serving others? All of these kinds of pursuits will be amplified in heaven. Learn how to play the flute here, and just imagine how that love and that ability will flourish under heaven’s cultivation! The sky’s not even the limit there…
Probably, there are more things than these, but this should be sufficient to get you realizing that you are already “storing up treasures” in heaven with good things you are already doing.