“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 moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Randy Alcorn, founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries, calls the truth that Jesus taught in this passage The Treasure Principle [i]. You will remember from the earlier devotions the Treasure Principle states, “You can’t take it with you, but you can send it on ahead!” This is one of the most important principles to grasp in Scripture if you want to be successful in God’s eyes. The six keys to understanding this principle show us how to live a life that is pleasing to God. We have considered the first three keys to understanding the Treasure Principle:
- God owns everything and you are his trusted steward
- Your heart will follow where you put God’s money
- Heaven, not earth, is your home (if you’re in Christ)
Now, here’s the fourth key: Don’t live for the dot, but for the line.
James 4:14 states, “What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.”
Psalm 39:5-6 says, “You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Each man’s life is but a breath. Man is a mere phantom as he goes to and fro; He bustles about, but only in vain; he heaps up wealth, not knowing who will get it.”
Psalm 102:23 states, “In the course of my life he broke my strength; he cut short my days.”
What do we learn from these verses? Life is short. We have no idea when our days will come to an end. With the fourth key, our lives here on earth are represented by the dot. Eternity is represented by the line. Most of us spend the majority of our lives focused on the dot. We spend hours planning for retirement. We build up huge sums in 401k plans. We monitor the stock market daily and lose sleep when it goes down. Meanwhile, the clock keeps on ticking. Our time in the dot draws nearer to the end. When the end finally comes, Scripture says we will all stand before God and face His judgment regarding how we lived our lives (Hebrews 9:27).
There is nothing necessarily wrong with spending time on the above activities. However, the problem arises for believers if that is where we spend the vast majority of our time – paying little attention to eternity. The question we all need to answer is: what is the real focus of our lives, our hearts, our time? Like sands in an hourglass, these are the days of our lives! How are you doing?
Remember, if you are in Christ, then you are simply a pilgrim passing through a strange country that is not your home, and soon you will pass into eternity. Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 4:18, “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
Don’t live for the dot! Live for the line!