How Do I Value Heavenly Treasure over Earthly Gain?

Summary: The world has a value system for people and things. God’s values are completely different than ours. Even as Christians, we are learning how to value the things and people God values.

Introduction

In my last post, I talked about prayer and fasting. In this post, I will cover Jesus’s teaching on my end up treasures in heaven instead of on earth.

How do we determine how valuable something is? Sometimes I watch the Antiques Roadshow and see how people react to an appraisal of their earthly possessions. They bring in something they inherited and listen to its appraisal by an expert.

Before they went to the show with their items, they valued them because they are family heirlooms. They value them because they remind them of family members or their family members valued them. Sometimes the person bringing the item for appraisal is overwhelmingly surprised at the items worth. Other times, they thought it would be way more valuable than the appraiser assessed its value.

Appraisers use a system to evaluate what an object is worth. It has very little to do with your family’s attachment to it. They have no sentimental attachment to the item. This discussion asks an important question: how do you assess the value of everything and everyone in your life? Jesus addressed treasures and value in Matthew 6:19-21 in His Sermon on the Mount. Let’s get started.

Determining Value

How do we determine the value of something? We may consider the age or durability of an object. Perhaps its rare status comes into play. We value things we cannot make ourselves. We admire the craftsmanship of objects. As with people who brought their objects to the Antiques Roadshow, you may sentimentally value something that’s been in your family a long time.

Objects can change value. The longer they are around or the rarer they get, then may rise in value. For whatever your reason, the object may be of greater value to you than to the world. Perhaps you value some things above others, like a book that teaches you something. The Bible considers heavenly wisdom of greater worth than riches.

So, how do you know what is more valuable? What determines the value or worth of something to you? If the world placed a lesser value on those things you cherish, would that matter to you? Some of the people at the Antiques Roadshow still value an object despite its appraisal.

How about people? The more familiar we are with someone, the more valuable they usually are to us. But some people we don’t even know may be valuable to us. The world follows after wealthy and famous people, celebrities. We follow these peoples’ lives with great interest. Why?

As a disciple of Jesus, you hold Him in higher regard than the rest of the world. Indeed, He is worth of our praise. When He speaks, we highlight His words in red to set them apart from the rest of the Bible. His teachings have more weight for us than any other teachings.

We should value the things and people God values. In fact, since God placed His image on every person, we should value them. He puts much less value on things. After all, since He made all things, He can make them whenever He wants.

Short-Term Treasures

When you value something, you put it in a safe place. Especially if it is fragile, you may put it in a safe, have a bank hold it for you, or buy an elaborate security system. We don’t want someone to steal our valuables.

The more valuable our items are to us, the greater lengths we go to protect them. No matter an item’s value, we do what we can to keep it safe and in our possession. If we find out someone values it a great deal, we are willing to part with it or receive their value for it. This lends to the common phrase, “Every man has his price.”

The value of earthly items changes between people, based on rarity, durability, and age. Christians point out that though we value gold on earth, the streets of heaven are paved with it. A poor person values money more than a rich person because he has less of it. Money around the world has different values. Pesos and rupees have less value than the United States dollar even though they are both used it to buy things. Inflation devalues currency.

Whether we admit it, we value some people more than others. The world has systems of value for people. Some become slaves because other people devalue them. Slave owners consider their slaves property, not people. They may be less fond of people because of their background, origin, nationality, and the list goes on.

The world values things, currency, and people much differently than God does. But everything except people God holds as less valuable. Though He created all things in people, God values people above failings. Do we value things and people based on the world’s value system or on God’s value system?

This world and everything in it will pass away (1 Corinthians 7:31; 1 John 2:17). God, His Word, and people have eternal value. They will remain beyond the things of this world. We should value what God values.

Long-Term Treasures

The treasures of heaven will not pass away with this earth. They cannot be destroyed by earthly means as earthly treasures can. They don’t have the same value system the world uses to determine value. They are greater and longer-lasting.

Jesus tells us to lay up treasures in heaven. Moth and rust cannot destroy them. Thieves cannot rub them from us. So, what are these treasures, and how do we amass them? We know how to gain earthly treasures, even if we cannot gain them because we don’t have the means to pursue them.

We often say that you can take nothing with you to heaven. But there is one thing we will see valuable in heaven – people. The people you evangelize, whom you spend your life capitol to disciple, encourage, and build up, they will be in heaven. God values people.

The long-term treasures are the people and things God values. He will make the heavens and earth again after they pass away. But people have only a short time to accept Christ. We must be about Father’s business God values people, but the world devalues them. And we must value them. They are all that matters.

The gospel and the Word of God will also outlast this world. Do you spend time with God in prayer? Do you study God’s Word? What are some other things and ways we can value what God values? We can show how precious people are to us by the time and effort we take to help them grow in godliness and God’s ways. We can gain heavenly wisdom through Bible study and learning from wise Christians.

Precious Treasures

We must value what God values. These are the only precious things in this world. We get distracted by this world and its value system. Our old way of life centered on gaining earthly wealth. But our values have changed, as we will discuss later in our Conformed to Christ series.

It’s hard for our minds to align with heavenly values. That’s what discipleship is all about. We learn to treasure the things of God and people. We do not automatically switch to eternal and heavenly values. Perhaps the discipleship process doesn’t receive enough value in our hearts.

God is making us into the people who will live with Him for eternity. The process He uses to make us into these people is valuable. Both the journey and the destination are valuable. We may have a hard time understanding why God values what He values. But we are becoming eternally valuable, and He saw us as valuable when we didn’t value ourselves.

We are learning how to unconditionally love like Jesus, to live like Him, and to walk like Him. We will learn His value system. Aunt you glad Jesus has the patience in our transformation and payments faithful to us?

Growth Challenge

Learn to value the things of God and the people around you He is working on and informing to Jesus’s image. Have patience with people. Remember how Jesus is changing you, and have grace with those who are not as far along as you are. Stay humble in the process and give others a lot of room to grow.

Up Next

We’ve covered valuing heavenly treasures over earthly wealth in Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount teaching. Next, we will discuss Jesus’s teaching on the lamp of your body and serving two masters.

Image by Matthias Wewering from Pixabay

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