I’ll be 65 years old in a few months. The government has sent me a reminder that I should register for Medicare. Retirement is out there on the horizon. All of that makes me think about resources, lifestyle, and money! I suppose it’s common to wonder how much is enough, given the variable of not knowing if life will extend another 10, 15, or 20 years. Questions about resources are not just for people in my stage of life. Those who consider marriage wonder if they can afford to set up a home. Those who are contemplating having children calculate the cost of raising that child. Whatever stage in life, whatever choice is facing us, we can know peace in God’s promise.
Jesus teaches us about God’s provision for our needs. “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! “No one can serve two masters. 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 both God and Money.” (Matthew 6:19-24, NIV)
Do you know the Treasure Principle?
Jesus says – our life priorities are determined by what we love most.
One of the worst ‘first loves’ is money and possessions! I happen to like cars. Many years ago I purchased a new one. It was a beautiful red sedan with a leather interior and I was quite proud of it. Two weeks after I brought it home, while it was parked on the street, my teenage brother jumped into his old beat-up car and backed across the street right into the driver’s side of my new car. That’s life. I had it repaired and it looked good as new. A few months later, while driving on the Interstate, a wild turkey jumped the guardrail and I hit it square in the front, crushing the grill, folding creases into the hood. My red Mercury was not as much a treasure to me after that.
Such is the nature of the things of this earth. The economy will fluctuate, diminishing the value of your investments. Storms will come battering the house you have carefully built. Cars will gradually wear out. Fashions will change. That is why Jesus says we should invest ourselves in God’s work. Love endures. Lives that we influence for good are forever changed. A soul can be redirected by our love and service from destruction to eternal life! When we treasure what God values, our wealth cannot be stolen, eroded, or corrupted.
Paul reminds us of an accounting that we will give to the Lord in eternity. He says that the foundation of our relationship with the Father is Jesus, the Grace-giver. God invests in us and we have the privilege and responsibility of creating a life. Using the metaphor of a builder, he writes – “But whoever is building on this foundation must be very careful. For no one can lay any other foundation than the one we already have—Jesus Christ. Now anyone who builds on that foundation may use gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. But there is going to come a time of testing at the judgment day to see what kind of work each builder has done. Everyone’s work will be put through the fire to see whether or not it keeps its value. If the work survives the fire, that builder will receive a reward. But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builders themselves will be saved, but like someone escaping through a wall of flames.” (1 Corinthians 3:10-15, NLT)
If we build a life of inferior service, are selfish and motivated by short term gain, get taken up with image, chasing pleasure – the whole of our accomplishments will disappear in a puff of smoke! If we love deeply, worship honestly, give generously of our time and resources to make God’s kingdom grow – the true value of our brief life will emerge as we stand before Him in eternity.
The Treasure Principle is invariably true. What do you love most? Don’t just listen to your words, look at your choices. Your deepest love will be revealed by your daily choices.
Here is a word from the Word. Lord, give us faith to receive Your word and promise. “Peter said, “We have left our homes and followed you.” “Yes,” Jesus replied, “and I assure you, everyone who has given up house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the Kingdom of God, will be repaid many times over in this life, as well as receiving eternal life in the world to come.” (Luke 18: 28-30, NLT)
One of my favorite worship songs from recent times. Enjoy.
(A great song that points us to real faith in the Builder)
Worthy of ev’ry song we could ever sing
Worthy of all the praise we could ever bring
Worthy of ev’ry breath we could ever breathe
We live for You
Jesus the name above ev’ry other name
Jesus the only one who could ever save
Worthy of ev’ry breath we could ever breathe
We live for You We live for You
Holy there is no one like You
There is none besides You
Open up my eyes in wonder and
show me who You are
And fill me with Your heart
And lead me in Your love to those around me
I will build my life upon Your love
It is a firm foundation
I will put my trust in You alone
And I will not be shaken
Brett Younker | Karl Martin | Kirby Elizabeth Kaple | Matt Redman | Pat Barrett © 2016 Martin, Karl Andrew (Admin. by Arkyard Music Services Limited) Kaple Music (Admin. by Bethel Music Publishing) Bethel Music Publishing
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