Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Treasuring Christ Together Part 4

What is your treasure?
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.” ~Matthew 6:19,20

Where is my treasure? That is a question I have been asking myself this week after Pastor’s last message about “Treasuring Christ Together.” This whole series has not been a means to pry more money from our fingers, but to help us examine our hearts and to see what really holds first place with our affections. What we treasure is a true indicator of the condition of our hearts and hopefully this series has been a wakeup call for all of us. Pastor noted for us there are two basic commands in the passage he preached from, they were:
  1. Stop laying up treasures on earth.
  2. Start laying up treasures in Heaven.
We would all do well to heed the words of Jesus as He tells us to never treasure things which are temporary, vulnerable, and fleeting. Anything and everything this world has to offer, pretty much falls into the category of temporary and will not ultimately provide the satisfaction it promises. Jesus points out for us how vulnerable earthly treasures are. Things are lost, stolen, and can be broken beyond repair, but the sort of treasures one lays up in Heaven can never be touched by moth, rust, and thieves. The location of our “treasure”, as noted by Jesus, reveals who or what it is that captivates our hearts.

“where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” ~Matthew 6:21

Think of all the things the type and location of our treasure indicates. If Christ is the treasure of our souls then our hearts, with its desires and affections, will be in heaven. When we are treasuring Jesus above all else, we are freed from the bondage of accumulating and serving stuff. Then when God blesses us in material ways we easily and willingly become conduits of those blessings into the lives of other people without conscious effort. Jesus used the dedicated service to one master over another as an illustration...

“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” ~Matthew 6:24

How true it is that there can only be one master in our lives. Do not mistake this passage as a condemnation of those who have wealth. The condemnation is aimed at those who do not have a heavenly and biblical attitude about riches and live to serve it rather than using it for the glory of God and the growth of His kingdom. There is a very definite difference between serving wealth and using it as a tool. Our lives should be filled with examples of exchanging one form of wealth for another. Giving of what we have, to include time, talent, and finances, for the glory of God and the benefit of His people is what I means to follow Christ. Our lives should be a model of “broken bread and poured out wine” as noted by Oswald Chambers. This past Sunday we remembered how Jesus was that very thing for us.

Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” ~Matthew 26:26-28

Do not forget the three principles Pastor shared with us and spend time this week thinking about how they each should affect what you think, what you say, and what you do.
  1. I can’t take it with me, but I can send it on ahead.
  2. My heart always follows where I put my treasure.
  3. I should not live for the dot (now), but for the line (eternity).
Pastor also talked about this passage from Ecclesiastes, so if you have time today, make it your devotional reading and compare it to what Jesus taught in Matthew 6:19-24.

He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity. When goods increase, they increase who eat them, and what advantage has their owner but to see them with his eyes? Sweet is the sleep of a laborer, whether he eats little or much, but the full stomach of the rich will not let him sleep. There is a grievous evil that I have seen under the sun: riches were kept by their owner to his hurt, and those riches were lost in a bad venture. And he is father of a son, but he has nothing in his hand. As he came from his mother’s womb he shall go again, naked as he came, and shall take nothing for his toil that he may carry away in his hand. ~Ecclesiastes 5:10-15

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