There was once a very rich man, who knew he was about to die. He had millions of dollars in stock, bonds and real estate. Since he knew his time was near, he had his assets converted into gold bars, placed in a big trunk, laid down on the trunk and while lying there, he died. When he woke, he was at the gates of Heaven.
An angel met him at the gate and with a concerned look on his face said, “Well, I see you actually managed to get here with something from earth! But unfortunately, you can’t bring that trunk in.”
“Oh please, sir,” said the man. “I must have it. It means everything to me.”
“Sorry, my friend,” said the angel. “If you want to keep that trunk, then I’m afraid your entrance to heaven will be denied. And if your entrance to heaven is denied, then there is only utter darkness for you.”
“Well, I won’t part with this trunk. It contains everything important to me. I will not, I cannot, I shall not.”
“Have it your way,” replied the angel. “But before you go, would you mind if I looked inside to see what you’re willing to trade Heaven for?”
“Sure,” said the man. “You’ll see how valuable it is and why I could never part with it.”
The angel opened the trunk and saw the bright shiny gold. With a puzzled look on his face, he said to the man, “You’re willing to give up all of Heaven, and eternity with God for…..pavement?”
The angel knew-that Heaven is described (Revelation 21:21) as a place where “the great street of the city was of pure gold, like transparent glass.” The gold of earth meant nothing in Heaven. It means so little that walls were made of it, that the street was lined with it-its decoration.
Earthly treasures are just building materials in Heaven. Heaven’s riches, eternal things-have to do with Love, Hope, Peace, Sacrifice, Joy. This man had struggled and worked all his life for things that had no eternal value or consequence. He had lost the plot of true greatness. He had focused on himself, rather than others.
It causes me to think of what I labor for-what I hold dear-how I invest my time and God given gifts. Am I laboring in vain for temporal things? Or am I setting my sights on investing in the things of God for gifts that last like, Love, Joy, Peace, Kindness, Gentleness? How about you? “
Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness…and all these things (the things we need on earth) will be added unto you.”