Monday, September 1, 2014

Invest in Eternity

- We Christians are citizens of Heaven. Jesus tells us to store up our treasures in Heaven, not on earth. We cannot take earthly treasures with us when we leave this earth. They are temporary, perishable, and precarious. It is indeed a folly and vanity to lay up for ourselves treasures on earth. Hoard not!
- One of the commentaries says, "A common error of Phariseeism and Judaism in general was the undue emphasis upon material wealth as evidence of God's approval." Do not fall into the same erroneous thinking and do not follow the "Prosperity Gospel" false preachers. In reality, many wicked people are rich while many righteous people are poor. Just look at Jesus and His own disciples :)!
- "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."--You can tell a lot about someone by looking at how he/she spends his/her money (time and talents, too). What do you value above all? Our true treasure is found in Christ and His free gift of salvation & eternal life. When we keep an eternal perspective and treasure Christ above all else, the things of the world will become insignificant and meaningless. Our hearts will follow and our actions will show what we truly treasure. "Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness!" (verse 33 in the same chapter) Let's live in the light of eternity! This world is not our home. Don't waste your life chasing after the temporary things of this world! Live for God and give Him your undivided loyalty! Don't let the world and its pursuits come between your soul and Him. Focus on reaching out to the lost and making an eternal impact while you're here on earth. Live intentionally in such a way that most glorifies God. Don't get caught up in the material race for more things. May we use God-given resources for His glory and for His kingdom! Invest in eternity! All the decisions (big and small) that we make speak volumes about where our heart is.
- We must guard our hearts against greed, against accumulating things/hoarding wealth, and against finding gratification in our possessions. "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions." ~Jesus (Luke 12:15) Please heed God's warning about the rich fool. "This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God." (Luke 12:21) "Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in Heaven. Then come, follow Me." ~Jesus (Mark 10:21) Jesus wants us to stay away from covetousness and worldly-mindedness. Do our satisfaction, security, and comfort rest in what we have? When all our physical needs and wants are met by stuff, it's easy to become self-reliant and move away from God-reliance. God must be the Center and Priority in our lives. Only what's done for Christ will last! The only treasures we can bring to Heaven are the lives of those who come to know Christ as a result of our witnessing, serving, and giving (to the needy/to kingdom's work/to reach people with the Gospel). "Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in Heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." (Luke 12:33-34) We are blessed to be a blessing to others. "Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life." (1 Timothy 6:18-19) Generosity that reflects God's love, grace, and kindness is an antidote to covetousness and a way of laying up treasure in Heaven.
- We are called to set your hearts and minds on things above, not on earthly things (see Colossians 3:1-2). We are to direct our affection and thoughts to things above (heavenly things/eternal things)...things that matter eternally. Examine where our affection, attention, anxiety, ambition, and passion lie. Are they mostly set upon earthly pursuits/vain riches for selves?

Prayer: Father, please forgive us when we value the wrong things in life or get too attached to temporary things of the world or become discontent and tempted to want more. Please teach us to know what's eternally important and priceless in Your eyes and help us to focus on storing up our treasures in Heaven. In Jesus's Name, I pray. Amen.

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