Sell your possessions and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heaven that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will you heart be also. ~ Luke 12:33-34, ESV
Anticipating our new house seems to me to be a small taste of what it must feel like to anticipate heaven. As I look toward our new house and moving there soon, this apartment and the things here matter less and less. I’m not so particular about how things look here, because I know I have to sort and pack it all in just a few weeks. I’m not so keen to keep our fridge and pantry full because I know I’ll have to move it all soon. The things here that used to consume me now have less value.
I think this is the same attitude Jesus desires of those who are anticipating the kingdom of God. In Luke 14:15-24, Jesus tells a parable of a man giving a banquet. Those whom he had invited declined the invitation because they better things to do.
The excuses given by those invited show that they were absorbed by the here and now. They had to look at property just bought, or they were just married and couldn’t come. Instead of receiving the invitation, they rejected it for something they saw as more valuable.
Instead, Jesus wants us to remember what is truly valuable. He wants us to “lay up for ourselves treasures in heaven,” so our gaze will be fixed there, and the things here will matter less and less.
But this is where I struggle. Unlike our new house, I don’t have a clear picture of heaven. I’m not constantly reminded of it and constantly talking about it. Part of reminding myself is spending time with God and allowing him to give me a clearer picture of heaven, like we’re doing now in this study. But I think another part of it is reminding each other of our true goal. When we see our friends getting bogged down here, we can help them to lift their eyes back towards heaven through words of encouragement. For me it will also include intentional study to learn more about heaven through the Bible and other authors.
Yes, our new house will be wonderful! It will be so nice to be settled for a while and most of all to have a backyard and room for our boys to be boys. However, I don’t want to forget the lessons I’ve learned along the way. I don’t want to again become so consumed with here that I forget heaven. I want to remember.
What things help you to remember? How do you keep your eyes on the goal?