Lay Up or Lay Down
by Pr. Dave Mann
What we care about most usually occupies our thought-life. Or stated another way, what we fear losing the most gets a lot of playing time in our what-if scenarios.
Jesus knew human nature well. He was well aware of the way people in the 1st century hid away their riches. But one problem was that bags of money hidden underground could get wet and suffer rust and corrosion. Or if the valuables were under lock and key, thieves could break in and run away with them.
I remember preaching on this text in rural Cameroon, West Africa, where wealth was measured in the quantity of the family grainery. If the head of household heard someone trying to get into the storage unit in the middle of the night, you better believe that the adults of the house would be roused quickly to defend their grain.
Jesus also knows about the people in the 21st century who stock away their riches in other ways. Most of us do not have fears of someone physically stealing from our savings account, 401(b) accounts, or pension accounts. But people certainly worry about a downturn in the market or the effect of inflation. If we worry too much about this, it may be an indication where our heart is attached.
Those who claim to be disciples of Jesus, whether in the 1st or 21st century, whether we accumulate wealth in grain or in electronic accounts, the challenge is the same. Where is our heart? What occupies our minds when we worry?
If we truly trust in Jesus, we will be content with what he has provided us because we know he has laid up for us an eternal treasure in heaven which will never rust or be stolen.
How do we lay up for ourselves treasures in heaven? By trusting in the One who laid down his life for us.
The Apostle Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 4:8: "Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing."
Jesus’ words ring true: For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Lord Jesus, you who had no place to lay your head, you indeed did lay down your life for me. By your grace, teach me to trust in you alone, that I may use the world’s riches for your glory and your kingdom work. In Jesus’ name, Amen.