Jesus said, “Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven where moth and rust do not corrupt and thieves do not break in and steal, for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Many of us have treasures – material possessions that we value, and there is nothing necessarily wrong with that as long as we don’t place more value on them than they deserve. At the end of the day, we can’t take them with us when we go. We need to put more value on spiritual treasures – to lay up treasures in heaven. What are these treasures we should lay up in heaven? They are the good values we are to cultivate in life – things like honesty, integrity, fairness, kindness, compassion, love, and trust in God. These are the sorts of treasures that can never run out, wear out, or get lost or stolen. In fact, the more we share these treasures with others, the more they increase. The more we practise good values in our lives, the more they grow in us. We are laying up treasures in heaven.
But we are only laying up treasures in heaven if we are acknowledging where they have originated. Each treasure is a blessing from heaven and we should give God the glory for each one.
“The Lord says, ‘Wise men should not boast of their wisdom, nor strong men of their strength, nor rich men of their wealth. If anyone wants to boast, he should boast that he knows and understands Me, because My love is constant, and I do what is just and right. These are the things that please me. I, the Lord, have spoken” (Jeremiah 9:23, 24).
God works through us to do good in the world. If we take the credit for these things, we are stealing from God the credit due to Him. We are breaking the commandment not to steal. Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” The commandments are God given rules for our eternal happiness. They appear in the Old Testament in the Book of Exodus, Chapter 20. Then there are the two great commandments – to love the Lord your God, and your neighbour as yourself (Matthew 22: 34-40), as well as the Golden Rule – to do to others as you would have them do to you. As we follow the commandments, turning our back on the negativity of our self-centred nature, we make room for God’s love to flow in. Gradually we become the person we were created to be. According to the Writings of Swedenborg, it was revealed to him from heaven that no one comes into heaven unless they bring with them angelic qualities from their life in this world.
God said in Deuteronomy 30:15, 16:
“Today I am giving you a choice between good and evil, between life and death. If you obey the commands of the Lord your God, which I give you today, if you love Him, obey Him, and keep all His laws, then you will prosper and… The Lord your God will bless you…”
So, lay up for yourself treasures in heaven and one day you will find yourself in your heavenly home, where you will find true happiness among the angels who always give thanks to God, the Source of all that is good and true.