My son lined up his pirate loot after spending time at “Pirates Day” down along the river’s beach.
It was a good haul: Seaglass, plastic gold coins, colorful rocks, and a black eyepatch with the skull and crossbones. He surveyed it with a bit of pride and then tucked every treasure away in his tiny black bag of “jewels.”
We followed a treasure map in order to gather all these rewards, and it is impressive in its array, colorful and plentiful, just about filling his pirate treasure pouch, which makes him feel vastly wealthy.
We know, of course, that it’s pretend treasure. It’s temporary at best and plenty valuable enough to a four-year-old, but not something you can plop down in exchange for anything more long-term.
Still, he’s satisfied.
Am I satisfied? And if I am, should I be?
Are there places where I’ve mis-placed value, missing out on what has eternal significance because I’m caught up in what is temporary and here-and-now just because it looks worth having?
Are there places where I’m letting myself fret and freak out because it just seems oh-so-important to solve this crisis, when it’s really better to relax and let go and trust and be at peace?
I think we all have this longing for the eternal and that means in the moments when we find the joy, or the comfort, or the peace, we want to hang on tightly for dear life and not ever, ever let go.
And then life tumbles us and shifts and the ground feels terribly shaky all over again.
In our family devotions, we read these verses from Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount:
“Don’t 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 don’t break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-21 CSB).
My kids mostly get it. They tell me that we shouldn’t love money or be too greedy, and that’s the truth.
But what about these other treasures on the earth, not money perhaps, but still temporary jewels that might fill a pouch, but can’t be carried into heaven? Like accolades from others. The encouragement of a kind word. Being noticed. Measurable impact. Likes and followers.
Or what about report cards and test scores? Or titles and positions and power? The house, the car, the clothes…Feeling comfortable. Feeling safe.
These are good things that we can turn into “ultimate things,” which makes us miss out on eternal things.
Jesus said our heart is where our treasure is. We know He wants our heart, so what should I be treasuring?
What lasts absolutely forever, not for just a day or a year or a season?
His Word ENDURES.
but the word of the Lord endures forever. And this word is the gospel that was proclaimed to you (1 Peter 1:25 CSB).
The Word of the Lord lasts. It endures. Every single bit of time and effort we put into knowing His Word makes a difference for eternity—and I don’t mean head knowledge or doctrinal debates or memorizing facts and figures. I mean the way His Word can till the soil of our hearts, plant seeds, and produce fruitfulness; the way His Word changes us.
It’s because the Bible is so much more than just words on the pages; it’s given to us by the Lord Himself and:
THE LORD REMAINS CONSTANT also.
That’s what it means when we’re told He never changes, He’s the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. The Psalmist writes:
But you are the same, and your years will never end. Psalm 102:27 CSB
He is our treasure, our eternal reward of the highest value.
So, every single day, if I want to store up the treasure that will last, I seek His Word, I seek the Lord, and one more thing.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 says:
Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart (CSB).
PEOPLE LAST, TOO.
This is the treasure with eternal value: Loving Jesus. Loving His Word. Loving others like Jesus does.
That sets life topsy-turvy sometimes, because sometimes busyness appears so valuable and can make us feel so important, but what really has value and what endures might be:
a milkshake and some conversation after a hard day at school
reading the Bible at night with your kids
rocking a baby at midnight because he can’t sleep
coffee with a friend
devotions on the backporch in the early morning hours
a walk with the Lord on a sunny spring day.
That’s the treasure that endures.