You responded to a Help Wanted ad and now are sitting in an office with an employer looking across the desk at you.
While interviewing for the job, this perspective employer looks at your resume, questions you regarding your credentials, remarks he has spoken to your references, and explains what the job responsibilities will be. He takes you for a short tour of the work environment and explains the operation. As you return to his office, he informs you he has a favorable impression of you. So far, you like what you are hearing. Then he offers you the job.
Yet there is one problem. Puzzled, you raise a question. "I'm sorry, but we have not discussed salary. May I ask what the wages will be?"
He responds, "Oh, we do not reveal the salary to our employees. But I can tell you that you will not get them until retirement."
Would you take the job?
Sadly, the believer can go through life in this way. He carries on, knowing there is promised reward awaiting him in heaven. Yet like the proverbial dangling carrot, he can tire of pursuing it as it seems unreachable, too distant in the future to impact daily living. He does not know how it is measured nor does he know what this treasure truly is. Lacking a proper evaluation of heavenly treasure in his spiritual economy, he can function like a crooked Enron accountant as he inflates the profits of worldliness while shifting about its liabilities.
When the rich young ruler came up to the Lord seeking eternal life, he was ultimately told he needed to sell all that he had, give it to the poor, and follow Christ. Because of his love for his earthly treasures, we know that in sadness the ruler turned away from Christ. Yet clearly the man had not heard what was being offered or, if he did, he did not perceive the value of it. For I left something out in this retelling of the story. Read carefully Mark 10:21.
Looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him and said to him, “One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”
Jesus, with love in His heart for this man, was not asking him to give up earthly treasure for nothing in return, or calling him to forsake earthly pleasures only and singularly for the hard task of following Christ. He was being offered an incredible trade - the paltry, non-lasting, man treasures of this world for invaluable, eternal, God-wrought ones in heaven.
Yet what is this heavenly treasure?
Recently I asked a couple of young men, who are striving for godliness but admit they struggle with worldliness, this question. When an answer was not quickly forthcoming, I told them to take this next week and do what all treasure hunters must do. Dig! For if there is a treasure being offered by Christ, you should dig until you discover what it is. Only, as I told them, when you realize its worth, will you give up everything to possess it like that pearl in His parable.
So how about I ask you this same question. What is the treasure in heaven Jesus promises? How should it impact our job performance as servants of the King? Please answer in the comment section below. I'll discuss your answers with these young men next week, for I doubt they will read this. :) If need be, I'll give my own answer next week.
One more thing. Remember what else Jesus said about treasure that highlights the ultimate importance of answering this question. When you discover what you treasure, you will always find something else there as well. Your heart.
"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." -Matthew 6:19-21