Treasures in Heaven

Theme: Laying up treasures in heaven.
Object: A Piggy Bank and some paper "money" with things we can do to lay up treasures in heaven written on them to be inserted into the piggy bank during the lesson.

Scripture:

Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Luke 12:33-34 (NIV)

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6:19-21 (NIV)

Do you have a piggy bank at home? How often do you put money in it? I know some people who, at the end of each day, put all of the change from their pockets into a piggy bank. It may not be a lot of money, but when you add to it every day, it is amazing how quickly it builds up.

Whether we use a piggy bank or a savings account at the bank, it is a good idea to have a plan to save money for unexpected emergencies or when we want to do something special. One thing we have to be careful of is that the treasure that we are building doesn't become the most important thing in our life. Jesus warned about that in teaching his followers about money. He told them that they should not worry so much about building up treasures on earth, but that they should concentrate on building up treasures in heaven.

Treasures in heaven? How do we build up treasures in heaven? Jesus taught that one way to build up treasures in heaven is to give money to the poor. Can you think of some other ways that we might build up treasure in heaven? I think we build up treasure in heaven when we do things to help others. Things like:

• Visiting the sick
• Helping to feed the hungry
• Being cheerful and thoughtful to someone who is sad
• Praying for one another
• Working in a shelter for the homeless
• Being a friend to someone who is lonely
• Forgiving someone who has hurt you
• Saying you're sorry when you hurt someone

All of these are things that we can do here on earth that will be stored up as the "treasures in heaven" about which Jesus spoke. They may not seem like much, but if we do something for someone each and every day, it is amazing how quickly they add up.

Father, we may never have much in the way of earthly treasure, but help us to be faithful each day in building up treasures in heaven. Amen.

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