Treasures of the Heart
It does not take long to tell where a man’s treasure is. In fifteen minutes’ conversation with most men you can tell whether their treasures are on the earth or in heaven. Talk to a patriot about his country, and you will see his eyes light up; you will find he has his heart there. Talk to some businessmen, and tell them where they can make a thousand dollars, and see their interest; their hearts are there. You talk to fashionable people who are living just for fashion, of its affairs, and you will see their eyes kindle; they are interested at once; their hearts are there. Talk to a politician about politics, and you see how suddenly he becomes interested.
But talk to a child of God, who is laying up treasures in heaven, about heaven and about his future home and see what enthusiasm. “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
Now, it is just as much a command for a man to “lay up treasure in heaven” as it is that he should not steal. Some people think all the commandments are in those ten that were given on Sinai, but when Jesus Christ was here, He gave us many other commandments. There is another commandment in this Sermon on the Mount: “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33).
Here is a command that we are to lay up treasure in heaven and not on earth. The reason there are so many broken hearts in this land, the reason there are so many disappointed people, is because they have been laying up their treasures down here.
The worthlessness of gold, for which so many are striving, is illustrated by a story that Dr. Arnot used to tell. A ship bearing a company of emigrants has been driven from her course and wrecked on a desert island, far from the reach of man. There is no way of escape; but they have a good stock of food. The ocean surrounds them, but they have plenty of seeds, a fine soil, and a genial sun, so there is no danger.
Before the plans are laid, an exploring party discovers a gold mine. There the whole party go to dig. They labor day after day and month after month. They get great heaps of gold. But spring is past, and not a field has been cleared, not a grain of seed put into the ground. The summer comes and their wealth increases; but their stock of food grows small.
In the fall they find that their heaps of gold are worthless. Famine stares them in the face. They rush to the woods, they fell trees, dig up the roots, till the ground, sow the seed. It is too late! Winter has come and their seed rots in the ground. They die of want in the midst of their treasures.
This earth is the little isle; eternity the ocean around it; on this shore we have been cast. There is a living seed; but the mines of gold attract us. We spend spring and summer there; winter overtakes us in our toil; we are without the Bread of Life, and we are lost. Let us then who are Christians value all the more the home which holds the treasures that no one can take away.
Dwight L. Moody, Heaven (Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers, 1995).