(By: Norm Rasmussen)

Jesus tells us in the Bible to store up treasures for ourselves in heaven. If you are a new Christian, you may not yet be aware of this amazing exhortation from God Himself:

'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 NASB)

Christians are told in Scripture, 'For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ.' But what is the purpose of this judgment? Didn't Jesus pay the full penalty for our sins and God remembers them no more? If so, why will Christians still be judged by Christ? This judgment has nothing to do with salvation. Salvation is entirely the free gift of God and received the moment a person believes in Christ. We could never earn salvation by our good works. But the Judgment Seat of Christ has to do with how we have lived for Christ after He saved us. Everything we have done for Christ will be evaluated and rewarded. As the Bible says, 'For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done in the body, whether good or bad.' [2 Cor. 5:10] (John Ankerberg commentary)

To start off with: Let the new Christian clearly understand. Salvation (forgiveness of all our sins: Past, Present, and yes, future sins we've yet to commit [as long as we engage in 1 John 1:9 once we commit them and on-going deliverance over recommitting that sin is engaged in] is the FREE GIFT from God to anyone who wants it on this planet before dying. It costs nothing but one's free will (though it may be the hardest decision some will ever make before dying, though the WISEST!) Being forgiven for our sins because of what Jesus Christ accomplished for every person who has or will ever live on this planet is the greatest reward for all eternity ANY person could possibly receive from God, and God wants Christians realizing that His mercy to forgive our sins is much greater than what some realize.

Then: Purposing to lay up for ourselves eternal treasures after we have become spiritually born again (received the gift of eternal salvation) in heaven may cost some even MORE in the 'free will department' than what meets the surface. The longer I walk with the Lord, the more I realize that my sinful, selfish nature has a much greater influence on my thinking than what I want to admit to myself, most of the time.

Everything in me wants to try to convince my 'logic thinker' that I'll get the SAME REWARDS once I get to heaven that everyone else will get, simply because I'm saved. Yet that's not balanced scripture teaching on the matter. There will be various degrees of eternal rewards for believers: An increase and possibly a decrease for some. Do a thorough search on the Internet on the topic and you'll discover than many very credible Christian writers and speakers will tell you not all Christians are going to receive the identical rewards that all other Christians are going to receive.

Yet that isn't the primary purpose of this writing. I'm sold out believing that our primary purpose for living once we become born again believers is to live each day having THIS purpose in mind: 'What can I do this day to bring my Savior Jesus greater JOY?' 

Afterall, life and eternity was never meant to be about ME. God didn't create me nor you to plot and plan how we can get God to bless me more and more. He wants us to come to the liberating understanding that God created both angels and humans to bring HIM ever increasing joy. That needs to be re-emphasized: EVER INCREASING JOY TO HIM.

Let us never forget who has the POWER to bring blessing to us. He's the Creator. Eternal blessing to us, I might add. Eternal INCREASING joy, I might add even MORE. When we continually purpose to bring Him joy, He increases ours. When we turn our focus off Him it automatically gets placed on ourselves ... and if we we do that, we should not be dismayed to see our joy begin to diminish in our relationship with Him.

God does not need me nor you. He never has, nor will He ever. (Neither did he create an angel either because He needed one). But man on man does He desire our affection and devotion (AND obedience)

When Jesus was quoted, 'It's more blessed to give than to receive,' (See: Acts 20:35); 'Give, and it shall be given unto you.' (See: Luke 6:38) He spoke a revelation of eternal truth that is so simple in one sense, yet so profound in another: The way to get is to GIVE first ... (though we must do so with Holy Spirit inspired wisdom and direction. There are wise "spiritual investments" and "unwise spiritual investments").   

For the sake of this writing, how do we apply it? Are you READY for the answer?! Make it you primary DAILY purpose to bring Jesus Christ joy and He'll make certain He'll purpose to grant you greater joy, though most of it won't be realized until you cross over into eternity (because of the spiritual warfare component, demonic persecution in this life). 

Yet God has granted me a joy that I don't need to get to heaven to experience, and Satan can't steal it from me no matter how much demonic suffering I've gone through to date, or might go through in the future. After 35 years of being born again as of December 29, 2016, the Holy Spirit has so graciously enabled me to understand that investing in helping reach lost souls is the greatest pursuit He could reveal to me before I step into heaven on the other side. Secondary to that purpose is helping disciple born again Christians to become 'Jesus clones.' What is a 'Jesus clone'? It's a born again Christian who ever seeks God as to how THEY can help reach lost souls, and also help disciple new Christians to become 'Jesus clones' as WELL. A 'Jesus clone' is someone who lays down their life so others might become saved, and then will still lay down their life as the Holy Spirit leads them to help young Christian disciples mature in their understanding and application of Holy Scriptures, and how to walk in peace on a daily basis with the Holy Spirit their divine Helper. That's what Jesus DID while He was on this planet. He invested everything He had, His very life, to bring Salvation to lost souls. Yet He never missed the Father's will in also helping His disciples grow in wisdom and understanding. Yet He did it according to the Father's will. The Holy Spirit revealed to Jesus the Father's will at all times: Thus Jesus didn't DO daily what His 'human reasoning' might have tempted Him to do. He wanted to make absolute certain that He wanted every second of His life to be pleasing to the Father. The Father wants you and I to have that same passion for living. 

Yet don't let the devil convince you of lies that distort what Jesus is getting at regarding 'laying up treasures for ourselves in heaven.' 

God has absolutely no qualms about you or I being productive citizens in the country we live. Developing the skill(s) God gave us at birth to help OTHERS enjoy life better in a vocation is very wise, as long as that isn't our primary purpose for developing those skills. Being good at what we do in the work arena is secondary to going to our work again to somehow bring joy to our Savior. At our work, are we looking for opportunities to witness the Gospel Truth to those who are yet walking in it? Are we looking for opportunities to bless another downtrodden, discouraged brother or sister in Christ at work? If we're wise, that will be our PRIMARY purpose for showing up for work each day. Earning money should be secondary, if we are wise.

Yet the money God blesses us with can be a means of laying up treasures in heaven for JESUS, can't it? God tells us in Proverbs 3:9-10: 

Honor the Lord with your possessions, and with the first fruits of all your increase; so your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine. 

The above scripture solidly supports, 'Give, and it will be given unto you.' It also adds undeniable clarity to 2 Corinthians 9:6:

'Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.'

Yet WISDOM needs to always be sought after in regards to our 'sowing'. As there are wise investments in the stock market, so there are wise investments regarding laying up eternal treasures in heaven.

The same goes for discipling other Christians. You can pour and pour your time, energy and finances into Christians who will take and take, as long as you give, and justify never sowing back into your life or the ministry God has called you to. The number dwindles quickly when it comes to finding Christians who go out of their way who have any grasp on, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.' 

SELFISHNESS runs a lot more strongly in us born again Christians that what we want to believe. ME, I, and MY syndrome. It's called sin. We were born with it, and die with it, if we don't' dig in hard with God to get understanding from Him that there are WISE investments and UNWISE investments down here on earth that will affect the VALUE of the 'treasures we're purposing to lay up for ourselves in heaven.' 

Most new Christian's prayer lives often reflect this sin of selfishness. 'I need this, Lord. I need that." God hears it nonstop. It takes some time for most Christians to realize that the GREATEST way to motivate God to give us the things we would like from Him is to balance out our prayers by praying UNSELFISH prayers for OTHERS. 

Can God count on YOU to pray for the salvation of a lost soul? Consider the possibility that YOU may be the only person God can count on to pray for the salvation of another. Prisons are full of these needy people. They've so messed up relationships prior to going to prison: 'Let them pray for themselves!' a lot of hurt family and friends rationalize. Yet in their selfish short-sightedness, they fail to realize their immediate supervisor in HEAVEN might be this unsaved person God is asking them to pray for. Ponder deeply Matthew 25:14-30 if you don't have any idea as to what I'm hinting at here. 

There is no greater investment regarding 'laying up for ourselves treasures in heaven,' than our TIME. It requires no money to pray for another, especially for the salvation of another. It requires no money to help disciple another, rather than maybe gas money to get to the person. You can be in financial poverty and yet be laying up eternal rewards for yourself that billionaires will be envious of come reward time in glory.

Did Jesus concern Himself with laying up rewards in heaven? YES He did!:

"...fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2)

Jesus was fully aware that His sacrifice on the cross would bring His heavenly Father increasing joy that would last forever and ever. Jesus knew it would bring the heavenly angels joy, ultimately, that would last forever and ever. Jesus knew it would bring saved souls rescued from hell joy that would last forever and ever. Rewards of joy to ever-increase for all eternity. Yet for those who reject what Jesus accomplished for them on the cross? Stripped of all joy that would bring eternal regret, sorrow and pain: Hell in other words.

Dear reader: Whatever life has handed you to the present, be WISE in going forward. Daily pray to God to give you a passion to somehow try to help reach lost souls while you still can. You have no clue nor do I how God may use a redeemed lost soul you've help snatch from hell to be one of your greatest sources of joy in eternity. 

'Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor has entered the heart of man, what God has prepared for those who love Him.' (1 Cor. 2:9)

Let us never let Satan delude our daily comprehension that Jesus came to earth to give His life to rescue lost souls. There was no greater love He could have demonstrated to the Father while on this planet. 

If simply going to a local church fellowship now and then is all your Christianity is about to just hear another message, and you seldom, if ever, seek God how YOU can be helping reach lost souls, Satan has you settling for fewer eternal rewards of joy than what you could have had.

Real demonstration of love for God also cares for lost souls ... how God wants to use us to help rescue them before it is too late for them. 

If you have stopped going to a local church fellowship, for goodness sakes, don't let that stop you from seeking the Lord in how you can be used of the Holy Spirit to help plant and water spiritual seeds of salvation in the life of an unsaved person.

Here's a tangible way below you can help do that and it won't cost you a dime...


JESUS DID IT! and...


Remember:  All that we do in this life comes back to our God-given purpose which is to serve and glorify God. The money and assets we accumulate, the fame and power we've attained or seek to attain - all of the things of this nature will one day pass away, but those lives of others we impact for Jesus Christ will last for eternity, and we will be rewarded for the part we helped play by impacting those lives ... for eternity. (Matthew 6:19-20 is our assurance)

Dear Reader - are you at peace with God? If not, you can be. Do you know what awaits you when you die? You can have the assurance from God that heaven will be your home, if you would like to be certain. You can even have that assurance RIGHT NOW! Either Jesus Christ died for your sins, or He didn't (He did!). Are you prepared to stand before God on the Judgment Day and tell Him that you didn't need the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the Cross to have your sins forgiven and get in right-standing with God? We plead with you...please don't make such a tragic mistake. 

To get to know God, to be at peace with God, to have your sins forgiven, to make certain heaven will be your home for eternity, to make certain that you are in right-standing with God right now ... please click here to help you understand the importance of being reconciled to God. What you do about being reconciled to God will determine where you will spend eternity, precious one. Your decision to be reconciled to God is the most important decision you'll ever make in this life, because in Christ, it is impossible to put a value on the worth of your soul in light of eternity.