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What “storing up treasures in heaven” really means

“You’ll never see a U-Haul behind a hearse.”

Preachers have used this old saying for years to explain a simple fact: You can’t take anything with you when you die.

No one can bring material wealth into eternity. Heaven and hell don’t have banks or parking garages. Money and belongings aren’t any good to someone six feet under. What you have won’t change your circumstances when you die. No amount of possessions gives us a better or worse position after life.

Jesus warned us about this when He said, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal ...” (Matthew 6:19-20).

Two Ways You Can “Store Up Treasures In Heaven”

1. Avoid obsessive accumulation.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with wealth. God’s the one who generously gives people success with resources and money (Ecclesiastes 5:19). But when we become more concerned about the gifts rather than the giver, possessions become toxic and pointless (Ecclesiastes 5:10). Obsession with wealth ruins our relationship with God and with other people.

God cares more about the condition of our hearts than the condition of our wallets. That’s why He shows us what’s best for us and our possessions:

2. Stockpile what’s valuable in heaven.

If our stuff stays here, what treasure will we have in heaven? There must be a difference between our possessions and what’s valuable in God’s economy.

Our time on Earth is temporary, and we’re all headed to eternity somewhere. We can make the most of everything now and prepare for an eternity with God later by listening to Jesus and doing what He says.

Our eternal perspective affects our earthly priorities.

What’s valuable both now and in eternity is what God cares about: treating people right, forgiveness and loyalty (Matthew 23:23, Micah 6:8). We’re meant to use possessions and love people, not love possessions and use people. Our eternal perspective affects our earthly priorities.

We can choose to focus our lives on temporary wealth, but God offers us treasure that lasts forever: a relationship with Him that begins here and continues for eternity in heaven. What will we benefit if we give up on what really matters to get a few more possessions? Nothing’s worth more than knowing Jesus.

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