Proverbs 18 11-18-21

What do you treasure? It’s important to know because it directs your path through life.

11 A rich man’s wealth is his strong city, and like a high wall in his imagination. 12 Before destruction a man’s heart is haughty, but humility comes before honor.

Jesus uses treasure several times to refer to that on which we set our hearts. Let’s look at them and see if we can draw some spiritual conclusions.

19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; 21 for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:19-21

35 The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. Matthew 12:35

44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Matthew 13:44

52 And he said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house, who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.” Matthew 13:52

21 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.” Matthew 19:21

Literal- In the first four verses, Jesus is teaching. In the fifth one, Jesus is talking to the rich, young ruler. In each case, treasure is representative of that which the person wants more than anything. Key points are:

  1. Where our treasure is, there our hearts are, also.
  2. What we treasure in our hearts comes out in all we do.
  3. That which we treasure is what we will spend our time, money, and our energy getting.
  4. Our treasure affects how we look at everything: past, present and future.
  5. Sometimes the cost seems too high.

Moral- Could it be that Jesus is talking about who has control of our hearts? Let’s put it in the form of questions:

  1. Are we willing to invest in kingdom treasures?
  2. Are we already showing who has control of our hearts, whether us or Christ?
  3. Have we come to the realization that all good things come from the Father (James 1:17) and are worth pursuing?
  4. Do we look back on our lives and see how the heavenly Father has been pursuing us? Is He pursuing us now?
  5. Is Jesus asking us to give up our “fake pearls” for the real ones He is holding out for us?

Spiritual- In each case, I see Jesus asking for control of our hearts. To seek Him is to find treasures abounding! Life itself comes through Christ, as does love, joy, peace, and all the fruit of the Spirit–and the Spirit, as well! When we are ill, are we not ready to spend whatever it takes to get well? If we consider ourselves sin-sick, would we not give up all we have to be spiritually well? Jim Elliot, a contemporary martyr for Christ (1956), said,

“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep
to gain that which he cannot lose.”

We must ask ourselves, “What are we willing to give up in order to gain a better understanding of, and fellowship with, Christ? Jesus asked everyone to whom He preached to give up what they thought they knew about the heavenly Father to receive the truth from Him. He asked the rich, young ruler to give up his material goods in order to gain eternal treasures. We know that he walked away sad–but did he stay away? I secretly hope that after the resurrection, he trusted Christ and used his wealth to serve people.

So, my take-away from this study is this: Jesus is my treasure. Therefore, what comes out of my heart is Him! Jesus is the One for which I am willing to give away everything in order to have (the treasure in the field), knowing that I can “keep Him” forever (we say He is in our hearts when in actuality we are in Christ; Ephesians 2:10, 4:15).

Abba, You are my Treasure. I store You in my heart; I bring You forth in my life; I count everything else in my life as worthless compared to knowing You; You teach me both old and new things; I would give anything, and have, indeed, pledged my life to You in order to be Your disciple. I look forward to walking with You for the rest of my life and straight into eternity! Amen.

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