Anything in this life you forfeit for eternity’s sake will be enjoyed in Heaven longer than you have to do without it on earth. The sad thing is, many people don’t understand this until it’s too late. A rich man and a missionary were talking one day. The rich man said in a condescending way, “One of us has so much; one of us doesn’t.”
Not to be put down, the missionary answered, “Yes, I have always felt sorry for you. My treasure is in Heaven beyond this life. Your riches will be gone when you die.”
How’s that for perspective? Just think, for all of the wealth the rich man enjoyed in his lifetime, he would die just like every other human being: he would be buried in a six-foot plot of dirt. The things he had would be turned over to someone else who didn’t work for them, leaving him with nothing. He would also have a miserable existence in eternity, for he had never found the time or the need to put his trust in Jesus Christ.
The missionary had a hard life. For years, he struggled to learn the native language. He had to get used to the foods and customs of the people. He fought off wild animals and sickness. Sometimes he had to run for his life from cannibals. If that wasn’t enough, when he finally did get settled, it took years of teaching, preaching, and providing medical supplies to the people before he won his first convert. The missionary never had more than a few thousand dollars to his name, but it made no difference to him; he had been storing up treasures in Heaven.
Each of us gets to choose our treasures. We may be able to enjoy some for a lifetime, but there are others we can enjoy for an eternity. While there is certainly nothing wrong with living comfortably and working hard to take care of your family, never forget the most important treasures: the eternal souls of men and women. Every time you win a lost person to Christ, you are making an investment in lasting treasure. That is a wise choice.
Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder