Matthew 6:19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
Do not heap up and accumulate riches and valuables for yourselves upon the earth, where the clothes moth and consumption and corrosion can deprive them of their luster and ruin their value, and where thieves can break in and steal.
He is referring to such things as large amounts of clothing as well as to the storing up of money, which in those days was in the form of metal coins. Moths could damage the value of clothing and rust could devalue the metal coins.
And with stored up treasure, there is always the risk of thieves finding it and stealing it.
Treasures in Heaven
Matthew 6:20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
But heap up for yourselves riches and valuables in heaven, where neither moth nor rust is able to devalue or destroy it, and where thieves cannot find a way to break in and steal.
Notice that Jesus did not say, do not store up treasures. He did not say that it was evil or bad to lay up treasures. He said for us to rather lay them up or deposit them in a repository that is not of this natural world. Either way, treasures are being laid up somewhere.
And the Lord is not against us having some savings, some treasure laid up somewhere in the earth. But rather that we should store up some of our treasure in heaven, so that our faith and trust can be rooted in something other than worldly treasure. The system of storing up treasures that Jesus is talking about is far more safe and secure and reliable than any earthly system.
A Place Beyond This World
The definition of the word heaven in the Strong’s Concordance is in part “the region above the sidereal heavens . . . where God dwells and other heavenly beings.” How do we store up treasures in heaven? Isn’t heaven a place beyond our reach, a place beyond this earth? Yes, it is.
Giving to the Poor
In Luke chapter twelve Luke records the words of Jesus, as He expounds on this idea of laying up treasures in heaven.
Luke 12:33 Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth.
Notice the phrase “where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth.” This is identically the same message He was giving in the sermon on the Mount about laying up treasures in heaven.
This is what Jesus is referring to when He says to lay up treasures for yourselves in heaven. He is talking about taking some of what you have and giving it to the poor, or, that is, giving alms, giving help to those in need.
He could not be clearer about what He’s saying. There remains no question about it. What is laying up treasures in heaven? Giving to the poor and needy is laying up treasures in heaven.
Safe and Secure Treasure
Jesus says, give to the poor, and provide for yourselves bags, or that is, money bags, that do not decay or become old, provide yourselves a treasure, the same Greek word as in Matthew 6:19, a treasure in the heavens that is unfailing, a treasure that does not run out, where no thief can come near it, neither can any moth devalue it.
How much more secure could that treasure be? It is safe from theft and safe from ruin. He is talking about a treasure that belongs to us, a treasure not stored up on earth, but in heaven.
Well, if it’s in heaven, how do we get it? Isn’t that out of our reach? How do we access it? How do we use it?
The Kingdom Provides
When we have need of it, the Lord will get it to us. The kingdom provides it, and it shows up in the earth in a form we can use.
Paul the apostle spoke of this heavenly treasure in Philippians chapter four.
Philippians 4:15 Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only.
Philippians 4:16 For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity.
Philippians 4:17 Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.
Paul is reminding the Philippians that they were the only ones who gave help to him in the beginning of his ministry, and he reminds them that they sent to him time and again in Thessalonica to provide for his needs.
And he says, not because I desire a gift from you, not because I desire for you to give to me, but rather I desire that fruit may abound to your account, that it may be reckoned to your account, that it may be applied and credited to your account.
God Shall Supply
Then Paul goes on to tell them that he is in a good condition of provision because of the recent gift they sent him, and that God was well pleased with their giving.
Philippians 4:18 But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God.
Philippians 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
I am well provided for, he says, as the result of your generosity, and my God shall provide for all your needs. Their heavenly treasure was set in place and God would make sure that they received what they needed when they needed it. That’s the way that heavenly treasure works.
Treasure That Does Not Fail
Notice that Paul said that God would provide according to His riches in glory . . . by Christ Jesus. Where are God’s riches located? In glory, in heavenly places, and He will provide them by Christ Jesus, by the anointed one and His anointing.
Ephesians 3:20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us . . .
God is able to do beyond anything we can ask or think, according to the power that works within us. The power that works in us is the power of the anointed one and His anointing. That’s why Paul says that God will provide all your need according to His riches in glory, or in heaven, by Christ Jesus.
When we have treasures stored in heaven, those treasures provide a steady stream of provision, money bags that do not wax old, a treasure in heaven that does not fail or run out.
Faith is of the Heart
Matthew 6:21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
This has to do with where our faith is. Is our faith for provision in earthly things or in heavenly things? If our treasure is in heaven, our faith is in heavenly things, heavenly provision.
Romans 10:10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
For with the heart man believes. Faith is of the heart. If our treasure is laid up in heaven, that’s where our heart will be.
Our faith, our trust, will be in the ability of that heavenly treasure to provide for our needs. Our heart will not be in the false sense of security gained by having treasure stored up in the earth, where thieves can steal it, but in the unfailing security of the enduring treasure that we have laid up in heaven.