This is part of the Lord’s Sermon on the Mount, which is found in Matthew 5 through Matthew 7.  Let’s first read Matthew 6:16-18, “Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.”

The word ‘fast’ literally means to abstain from food and drink.  The Lord is warning in this portion against trying to make a show when a person is fasting.  It was the hypocrite who would create a sad appearance before others while fasting.  His intent was not to fast in such a way as to give himself over to prayer and seeking the Lord’s counsel.  Rather, he would fast in order to draw attention to himself, trying to show others that he had great piety.  Psalm 35:13 says, “But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth: I HUMBLED MY SOUL WITH FASTING; and my prayer returned into mine own bosom.”  There is no humility in the fasting of the hypocrite.  Indeed, “they have their reward.”  They receive the attention and adulation of others, which is all they really desired.

The Lord would rather we keep our fasting a private matter between ourselves and Him.  If we are fasting, we are not to make a public display of it.  Wash your face.  Comb your hair.  “Appear not unto men to fast.”  The Lord sees.  The Lord knows our actions and our intents.  This act of self-denial must be for the eyes of God, not of men.  When we do that, He will reward us.  When we give ourselves over to fasting and prayer, the Lord will cheer our hearts, He will answer our prayers, He will strengthen us for our journey.  The Lord is truly “a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6). 

Let’s continue and read Matthew 6:19-21, “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.”  We all have our treasures, don’t we?  Those treasures will be either earthly or spiritual.  ALL earthly treasures are corruptible, and they are subject to being taken from us.  How foolish it is to make the world and its pleasures our treasures.  They are fleeting at best!

Our treasures in Heaven are not subject to corruption.  They cannot be stolen.  They are eternal.  Luke 12:33 calls this, “a treasure in the heavens that faileth not.”  How do we lay up treasures in Heaven?  Ephesians 2:10 tells us, “For we are his workmanship, CREATED IN CHRIST JESUS UNTO GOOD WORKS, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”  We are not saved BY good works, but we are saved FOR good works.  As believers on the Lord Jesus Christ, we are given the privilege to serve the Lord.  He will lead us into good works that benefit others and glorify His name.  There are rewards for serving the Lord.  These are heavenly treasures.  1 Timothy 6:18-19 says, “That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.”  Proverbs 19:17 says, “He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.” 

You have your treasures.  Where are they?  Are they the temporary and corruptible treasures of this world?  Are they the eternal and incorruptible treasures in Heaven?  Beware, because “where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”  Colossians 3:1-2 instructs us, “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.”  (397.4)