Treasure – the people and things that you value the most in your life. Jesus had a large crowd following him and according to Matthew’s gospel he shared with them several teachings called the Sermon on the Mount. One of the teachings focused on what fills our heart. Jesus cautions the hearers to be careful because the heart follows the treasure. It is easy for us to spend our treasure on all of the wrong things in life and while they gain the devotion of our hearts, they will never satisfy them. Rather Jesus says lay up treasure in heaven meaning we need to spend our time and energy focused on God and the things of God. When we do that our hearts will be attuned with their true home – life now and life eternal with God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Take some time this week to read and pray. Also be open to discerning where your treasure is – that’s where your heart is. Blessings for the journey.
Monday – read Exodus 20:15, 17
Early in the liberation journey of the Hebrews God gave them laws through Moses. Isn’t it curious that a people who had been enslaved and oppressed for over 400 years had to be reminded not to kill, commit adultery or lie about each other? They also received instructions not to steal from one another. How often do we have to be reminded to be generous to God who has given us everything? How often should we be reminded of our call to honor God through the act of generosity?
Tuesday – read Proverbs 28:25
Very few people ever admire someone who is greedy. Actually greedy people are portrayed as ones who stir up trouble in their family, circles of friends and associates. A greedy person has little or no capacity for charity; they see no reason to help someone else. But those who trust in God and give generously prosper; maybe not monetarily but in the soul. When it comes to money are you greedy or are you generous? Are you stirring up trouble or prosperity?
Wednesday – read Proverbs 11:28, 23:4-5
A current commercial asks the question “when did it become an act of courage to leave work on time?” Our culture demands so much from us, especially if we want to get ahead (meaning a promotion, with higher pay, that can fuel our appetite for more stuff). The wise teacher reminds us that pursuing wealth is a waste of effort because wealth is tenuous at best. He also says that trusting in stuff is misplaced trust because one day it will all disappear. Where or in what have you placed your trust? How much time do you spend pursuing the things that are eternal?
Thursday – read Luke 12:15
What do you use to measure the quality of your life? Some of us may use the size of our bank accounts, assets, and savings as the measure of who we are. Jesus indicated that if this is your measuring stick then it could lead to greed – it could consume your time, attention and heart because you will take any measure to preserve your wealth. What is the measure of your life – your wealth or your service to God and others?
Friday – read Matthew 6:19-21
Mark Tabb (author of Living with Less) wrote that we live in “collectable America.” Many of us collect something thinking that someday we will sell our collection for a tidy sum of money. If we preserve the collection it will someday appreciate and be worth our time and effort. But very few things last forever – Jesus actually said that only heavenly treasure will last for eternity. And depending upon which we choose, earthly treasure or heavenly will influence where our passion lies. Where is your treasure being collected; stock piled?
Saturday – read Luke 12:32-34
Fear of not having enough – some would say that is what drives many of us. The fear that we won’t get our fair share of the imagined riches we think we deserve. What if we could live fearlessly? Live without the driving forces of obtaining more and more? Jesus invited his disciples to live simply because being unburdened of possessions also meant the release of fear. When fear subsides, trust can thrive. These two things cannot live in the same world, simultaneously. So what rules you? Fear or trust?
Prayer Focus: fear, insecurity, greed – do these attitudes and behaviors rule me? Trust, security, and generosity – how do I allow these attributes to grow and thrive in me?