Matthew 5:19-21 (paraphrased)

“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Matthew 5:19-21)

Which being paraphrased in our modern day, reads something like this:

“If I own something, it may break, get destroyed by the sun and the rain, get chewed apart by some animal, or even get stolen by some thief. There’s a lot to be worried about, if I think I have the power to guard this thing from being affected in these ways. In fact, the truth of the matter is that most of these things are really beyond my ability to control. I don’t have control in these areas! Therefore, I ought to be careful not to think that the possession of these things can bring me any sort of happiness. Fact is, they can’t!”

“For how could owning something that I really cannot control, bring me happiness? If that’s the case, then in order to guard my happiness, I’m going to have to expend all sorts of energy attempting to somehow ‘control’ these things: trying so hard not to let my possessions get broken (man, you could waste a lot of time on that), trying so hard not to let the sun and rain destroy it (can I really protect my car, or my shoes, or my coat, or any other thing that normally gets exposed to these, against this?), trying so hard not to let an animal come by (am I going to install some sort of sophisticated ‘animal warning device’ or something? … more expenses, and more worry, because someone might steal that!), and, lastly, trying so hard not to let it get stolen by a thief (God knows there are a lot of those around. I’m just going to have to entrust the whole thing into God’s hands).”

“In light of these things, it’s obviously okay to own something (because we all need to survive), but to think that by possessing that thing, it can bring me any sort of lasting happiness on this earth … man, you’ve got to be joking! Just don’t do it!”

“Now, having said all this, there’s a way to really obtain lasting happiness, but you’ve got to forget about doing it the worldly way (you know, that way that we just described above, that is completely futile in its efforts, because you really do not have any sort of real ‘control’ in being able to guard your worldy possessions. Anyway, you’ll die one day, and, as the saying goes, ‘You can’t take it with you!’). Here’s what to do: Determine to have an upward focus (that is, a heavenly one), and not a downward, earthly one, that is beneath your feet … even beneath your dignity! I say to you, ‘Look up’ and ‘Keep looking up!’ for it will ‘pay off’ in the end. Let’s see how that works. When you look up, you’re looking up to God. Now He’s secure (the things of this earth simply aren’t). But the things of God, we’ll, they certainly are secure. God is that ‘security’ that you need. So look up, I say, and keep looking up!”

“Now in heaven, which is your future home (which will never fade or die away, like your earthly one), is a glorious and wonderful place. In that place, there is no sorrow, no dying, no disease, no tears (of sadness, at least!), and no pain whatsoever. All bad memories will cease, and you’ll be eternally happy and secure! This being the case, focus your thoughts, and your actions, on that place alone. What I am trying to say in all of this is, live down here on this earth, and purchase things and enjoy them but, don’t make living down here and purchasing things an end in and of itself! That would be tragedy, because you would be losing the whole point of why I created you in the first place, which is so that you and I could enjoy and eternal, wonderful, entirely spendid relationship together (for all eternity, let me repeat!).”

“If you really want to enjoy that relationship, and ‘put the focus where it belongs’, then, please, I beg of you, don’t make living on this earth something which is an end in and of itself. You’ll end up doing so much damage to yourself, your neighbors, and My reputation! Instead, let me offer you the best advice I know (let me repeat it, for it is worthy of being repeated on a regular basis, even daily basis): Put your focus on things above, not on this earth below! Let your mind dwell on things above (that is, Me and your glorious future, and the glorious mandate that I have entrusted into your care) and not on the things of this world. You know something, the things of this world are passing away. But he who does the will of My Father will be eternally blessed, and eternally grateful, too! I want you to really be able to ‘partake’ of that rich, heavenly, blessing that I am offering to you. That is why I am saying these thigns to you. (Do you think I want your harm? Far from it!)”

“When everything you do is geared towards serving Me, and doing the very best that you can to make Me happy, then it’s going to return to you in a very big way. Think about it. For all eternity, you’re never once going to regret all the time and effort you put into serving Me, and seeing My purposes fulfilled on the earth (while you still had the chance to serve Me and do the things that are pleasing in My sight). Again, I beg of you — do not miss this — think about it! You’ll NEVER regret it! Never once! But the person who puts all his time and effort into shining his new car so that people will think better of him, or doing any number of things so that he can somehow secure a better (so-called) future for him on this earth, that man is dead even while he lives. He is deceived. He is (in the terms of Scripture), ‘foolish’! So I say to you again, put your attention and focus on the things that will, in the very end (when all is said and done, and when all is complete, and when your life is over), really be of lasting benefit to you.”

“I don’t think I can say it any clearer than that. I really want you to enjoy your future. But, friend, get your priorities straight! For yourself, others, and My own reputation, please, do it now!”

“Mind if I do a recap on this whole thing? I want it to stay with you a long long time. When you think of this short recap, then, I want you to be able to remember everything I’ve said above.”

“Put your time, effort, and expenses into serving Me, and you’ll never, never, regret it — no, not even once.”