There once was a box of treasure buried in a field, and when a man found it, he sold everything else he had just so that he could buy the field and thereby own the treasure (Matt. 13:44). That was how Jesus described the kingdom of God. In his letters, Paul talks about our salvation in terms of wealth, describing it as the “riches” of God’s grace (Rom 10:12; Eph. 1:7). This kingdom is the Christian’s inheritance of which Paul writes (Eph. 1:11). The most important part of that inheritance is having God himself. God literally gave us himself in the person and work of Jesus Christ (Jn. 3:16) along with “every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” (Eph. 1:3).
Only Two Portions
There are only two portions in this life: the portion of the Lord or the portion of the world. As the book of Revelation vividly depicts for us, those who choose the world have wealth and fame and success for a little while, but ultimately their wealth is vanity, and their selfishness and greed destine them for destruction (Rev. 18:11-20). To choose the Lord as your portion is to reject the seductive but worthless vanities of this life and to have far greater riches than material wealth.
The Psalmist speaks of the satisfaction and joy that comes from having the Lord and citizenship in his kingdom:
The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup;
you hold my lot.
The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance. (Ps. 16:5-6)
To have the Lord as our portion is to have the fullness of joy, eternal security, life itself. It means having a treasure beyond price that will never fade and can never be stolen. The lines of allotment have created a place where no suffering or corruption can enter and where flourishing and joy abound. Dwelling with God is to dwell in the presence of goodness and joy itself, and God delights to draw near to his people (Jm. 4:8).
The Christian's Riches Are Otherworldly
This is why Paul urges Christians to remember their portion is God, not the world. He writes,
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. (Col. 3:1-4)
What are the “things that are above?” They are nothing less than Christ himself and all the rich spiritual blessings of salvation, godliness, thankfulness, and praise. These things bring us heavenly treasure (Matt. 6:19-21). Set your hope, set your very life, upon these things, for this is where your treasure and, consequently, your heart lies. Our faith involves understanding and holding onto the fact that though we may be poor in terms of this world, we are rich in Christ. If you have been saved by the blood of Christ, then the Lord is your portion, and the lines have fallen for you in pleasant places.
It’s your life; you can live it however you want, right? Wrong.