Treasure; January 1, 2020

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

It was exactly two weeks ago that we had this very passage, and the Lord indicated that this was to be our verse for the year. It seems almost too simple, like a secular aphorism rather than a Word from the Lord, but it’s not only very true, it is something we tend to forget. The whole matter of values and priorities is inextricably connected to our world view. If we believe that physical life is all there is, that will be our focus, and everything else will suffer. The saddest thing is, in that situation such people generally just try to fill their emptiness with more stuff. On the other hand, if we believe we are created by a loving heavenly Father for eternal fellowship with Him, then improving and deepening that fellowship becomes our focus. Since everything physical was created by Him, we will be careful stewards of that creation, being respectful of everything from our fellow human beings on down. That’s what Jesus was talking about in the verse before this one, where He said to store up treasures in heaven. The thing is, this world is temporary, and certainly our tenure on this earth is limited. Even strictly on the basis of self-interest, which is the lowest of motives, investing in the eternal makes far more sense than betting on the temporary. As Jesus goes on to explain after this, we tend to get all worked up over temporary needs. It’s not that those needs aren’t real, but rather that our heavenly Father knows about them. (verse 32) That’s why He said in verse 33 that if we have our priorities straight, God takes care of everything else. Now that’s certainly something to be desired and work toward!

This is something I have experienced and confirmed time and time again over the course of my life. I have had times when I was so fixated on physical things that I got myself into real trouble, yet even those things that I acquired are no longer of any value to me, if I even still have them. On the other hand, I have had times when there was no logical reason for my needs to be supplied, yet God provided abundantly. When I feel a need for something physical, my first step – which I don’t always take, yet – is to ask God how it fits into His kingdom and His righteousness. If I get a green light, then I can move toward acquiring it. Sometimes He does give me green lights, sometimes yellow, and occasionally red. Paying attention and “obeying the traffic rules” is always the best course!

Father, thank You for the privilege of having this time with You on the first morning of the new year. Thank You for how You have shaped and guided my focus over past years, and how You have purified my concept of “treasure.” I pray that in this year I would indeed seek first Your kingdom and Your righteousness, so that my treasure, and my heart, will be with You, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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