“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" - Matthew 6:19-21
The world aims at fame and fortune. Maximizing bank account balances is the goal of the men and women of this world. Many people sacrifice and strive for unfulfilling or even unethical careers simply because they want the lucrative salary. "The god of this world" (2 Cor 4:4) has deceived the men and women of this age into seeking the accumulation of material wealth.
Jesus invites us to step off this playing field to play an entirely different game.
Does Jesus want us to be poor? By no means! Jesus wants us to prosper! But Jesus defines prosperity much differently than this world does. The treasure Jesus longs to give us is not material but spiritual.
The treasure Jesus offers us is a constant stream of joy, peace, and hope - things no amount of gold or silver can buy. Worldly treasure can be stolen and lost. It can depreciate and rust. Heavenly treasure is eternally credited to our name, "for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable" (Romans 11:29)
Does following Jesus mean that you have to be poor in worldly terms?
No. For, "there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." (Gal 3:28) The true follower of Jesus does not look a certain way according to worldly judgements. The disciple of Jesus is not recognized by any outer characteristics but by the overflowing of grace freely poured into their hearts by God .
Material wealth is not inherently bad. And poverty is not inherently good. God has created both the poor man and the rich man to glorify His name. Therefore we are not permitted to judge a person based on their material wealth.
We are told by our Lord not to judge based on mere appearances but to judge righteously - to look upon the heart (John 7:24).
The greatest treasure Jesus gives us all is freedom. For, before we come to Christ we are all slaves to sin. By placing our faith in Him, the shackles of our sin are forever broken, for "there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" (Rom 8:1).
Peace I leave with you;
my peace I give to you.
Not as the world gives
do I give to you
- John 14:27