RECENTLY I got to thinking about how my own treasures have changed through the years. I came across something Christ Jesus said in Matthew that made me want to stop and take stock. He told his listeners: "Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
As I thought about real treasures--ones that don't get lost or tattered--I began to see that such treasures are part of the spiritual treasures that Jesus speaks of as "treasures in heaven. Such spiritual treasure lasts. It can't be stolen, lost, or worn out. It can't misguide our affections or corrupt us.
Not long before Jesus' arrest and crucifixion, Mary anointed his feet with expensive ointment. Apparently, to Mary the presence of the Christ, Truth, that Jesus represented was worth everything. Today, knowing just what "treasures in heaven are and how to make them our own heart's treasure is no small question. If what we treasure isn't things or people or places, what is it? Perhaps the answer lies in knowing what is in heaven for us to treasure. God is in heaven, for one thing. But this heaven isn't a distant place we'll get to someday. God is ever present and infinite, thus not contained in any finite, material spot. Since God is everywhere, heaven, His good kingdom, must also be ever present.
The Bible says that God is Spirit. So, the treasure Jesus speaks of is spiritual, not material. All that God makes is spiritually substantial. This substance can't be seen or felt materially or physically. But since it is created by God and is like God, it is real and permanent. Man is an indispensable part of God's spiritual creation. Man is part of the heavenly treasure, you might say, because he is spiritual, made in the image of God, and not material. This fact alone--that there is a God who is Spiri t and that He creates man spiritually--is a truth worthy of our treasuring because it helps us to understand our own genuine identity as God's offspring.
This truth can govern our lives in every way. We can think of this governing as God's law in operation. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, says of the "Christ-principle in The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany: "More than regal is the majesty of the meekness of the Christ-principle; and its might is the ever-flowing tides of truth that sweep the universe, create and govern it; and its radiant stores of knowledge are the mysteries of exhaustless being. Seek y e these till you make their treasures yours.
It may seem obvious, but remembering that God is the source of all good is the key to finding our own treasure. God is the adorable God, the One worthy of our love. He is the One to center our lives on. This is worship.
What are some of the heavenly treasures we find resulting from gaining a fuller understanding of the nature of God (and the nature of man as God's child)? One of my favorite ones is meekness--something highlighted in Christ Jesus' teaching. To me, meekness means remembering that God controls every situation. Meekness, seen in a spiritual light, has real power and it heals. That's why I consider it a treasure. Forgiveness is another one. Jesus' startling assertion to his disciple Peter that we should forg ive "until seventy times seven seems to hint that forgiveness is a daily thing we do because of God's nature as Love.
Of course, there are many more. Always, they are tangible and eternal qualities. Treasure in heaven exists. It is real. Our part is to make it our own by shaping our thoughts, affections, and lives to match what we're learning of God. Then we won't need to look for treasure, because we will have already found the real treasures of spirituality.