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How can we store up treasures in heaven?

Jesus commanded us to store up treasures in heaven – where our treasure is, there our heart will be also (Matthew 6:20–21). We need to have our hearts set on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:1–3). If we want to store up treasures in heaven, we need to have our hearts set on the things of heaven (Colossians 3:2–4).

Jesus should be our primary treasure. When we treasure Jesus more than anything else, we devote the best of our available resources to Him—our time, talent, energy, money, and material goods (1 Corinthians 10:31). As we live for Christ, becoming more like Him, we are storing up treasures in heaven. Even the smallest acts we do for others do not go unnoticed by God (Matthew 10:42). The Bible talks of rewards and crowns awaiting Christ followers in heaven (Matthew 10:41; 2 Timothy 4:8; Revelation 22:12). Our responsibility is to stay on the path with God and not succumb to false teachings so that we may have our full reward (2 John 1:8).

This does not mean that we cannot have earthly treasures, but we should consider them of far less value than the treasure that is Christ and Him crucified for our sins (1 Corinthians 2:2). The rich young ruler was a man who believed he had kept God's commandments throughout his life. He came to Jesus to find out how he could have eternal life: "Jesus said to him, 'If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.' When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions" (Matthew 19:21–22). This story demonstrates that no matter how "good" we think we are, it is our heart posture toward God that matters most. When He is truly our greatest treasure, we are willing to give everything we have for the sake of Christ—even to the point of persecution and death.

Persecution is promised: "Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted" (2 Timothy 3:12; Matthew 10:16–20). When we are persecuted for Christ's sake, we are storing up treasures in heaven. Many of the early church leaders were persecuted to the point of death, including Stephen, Peter, and Paul. God promises that the sacrifices we make for the sake of the gospel will not be in vain (Romans 8:18; 1 Corinthians 15:58).

God sees when we serve and obey Him, considering others as better than ourselves, and He does not overlook it (Hebrews 6:10). We should live our lives keeping God in mind: "Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ" (Colossians 3:23–24). In doing this, we will store up treasures in heaven.

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