Matthew 6:19-21 (ESV)
Sometimes I check on the stock market to see how my retirement is doing. Its a meaningless activity. I can't change what is happening. Why should I look? It isn't my treasure anyway. I also don't want to retire. I would rather be able to preach until I am too old to drive than to retire and do nothing for the last years of my life. Yet, for some reason I want to know that I can retire on what I have in stocks. Does that make sense? I guess its the world creeping in on me. It is so easy for it to become my treasure.
And its hard not to agree with the world at times. After all, it is hard to watch others taking their ease while you work. It is hard to continue to sacrifice for the Lord while others make no sacrifices. Many of them come to church. Many of them have bought into the thinking and actions of the world. They give little, serve little and expect that their lives are not any different from anyone else's. They never know what an intimate relationship with the Lord is. They are better acquainted with religion than a walk with the Lord. Religion lets them leave their god at the church.
The tragedy is that these people do not know the joy of the Lord either. I have to remind myself of that as I watch them ride by in their new cars on their way to their huge houses. Would I rather have their vacations and retirement accounts and leave my relationship with the Lord behind? Too many times my actions will reveal that I might. So, I look at what I have right now. I have a God whom I know. I have a Savior who has provided peace between me and God. I have a Holy Spirit who speaks to me and gives me wisdom. I have Someone who fills my life. I have a treasure that is being built in heaven. And heaven is forever. Everything I have on this earth will end up falling down. Everything I have in heaven is mine forever.
And what will my treasure in heaven be?
The relationship that I have with my Lord will be a treasure in heaven. I will know Him when I see Him because I know Him now. The love He has given me will be completed then. The lives I have changed will go with me. Those whom I have led to the Lord and discipled will be a treasure to me. The gifts I have given to spread the gospel will bring some of those to heaven with me. Those whom I have discipled will bring even more. My treasure will be multiplied and I will have no regrets if I am faithful to the Lord.
But what about those whose treasure is on this earth?
Maybe they will die without any regrets. Maybe their names will be on the wings of hospitals and endowments at universities. Maybe their children's children will never have to want because of what they have made in this life. But if this is their treasure then their regrets will begin very soon after death. They may or may not walk into heaven but they will certainly walk into eternity. They may have had much on earth but they will be empty in this eternity. This regret cannot be changed. There will be no time to correct it.
I must admit, it is easier to motivate people to work toward treasures on earth than to work toward treasures in heaven. It is easier to get them to give to a building project which will have their names placed on plaques outside than to make them realize that their names will be associated with the souls that will be saved in the building. It is easier to get them to read their Bibles when they are being checked than to get them to have a daily time with God in which only God knows. It is easier to have the display righteousness than to become righteous.
Maybe people need to check their retirement accounts. No, not their IRAs or pension funds but their accounts when they retire from this world. Maybe we all need to see if there is anything in them.