Thursday, July 30, 2015

Where is your treasure?

"Sell your possessions and give to charity; make yourselves money belts which do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near nor moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there you heart will be also." Luke 12:33-34 NASB)

These verses are a continuation of the lily passage. It seems at first glance that Jesus has changed subjects here, but on closer examination, this is a continuation of the previous teaching. The topic began when someone in the crowd asked Jesus to intervene in a matter of inheritance. Jesus responded with a warning against greed. "Not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions." (Luke 12:15 NASB)

My life is not about my stuff.

Don't worry about your things, Jesus told His disciples. Don't worry about food or drink or clothes. Seek God and He will handle everything else. 

We come now to the question of possessions. Matthew Henry interprets this passage as an admonition to "sit loose to this world." Jesus recommended that we get rid of our excess of possessions and give the money to those who have little. Instead of focusing on owning things, our focus should be on treasure that lasts for eternity. 

If my life is not about my stuff, why do I spend so much time and care on my things? We all have 24 hours in a day, 365 days in a year. Over the course of my life, I will spend considerable time caring for my things. Silver has to be polished. Clothes need to be washed, dried, ironed, stored. Tools and toys need consistent maintenance, as do vehicles. There's always something that need attention.

The care of stuff can take over my life, but I don't want my life to be about my possessions. I want to live a life filled with God and His ways, His people, not things. When stuff rules, that which matters most can easily get left out. There's a choice that must be made. 

In a culture of affluence, we see relative wealth everywhere we look. It is not so in most of the world. The things we so desperately "need" are not as essential as we think. If we want our life to be filled with God, it cannot also be filled with things. 

How much of my day is spent on things? How much on God? How much on the people in my life? That division of time will tell much about my priorities.

Jesus calls us to take a careful look at our possessions. Do we have more than we need? Are things taking up more time than is reasonable? Call a halt to the tyranny of stuff. Get rid of the excess. Use it to make a difference in the world around you. 

Our lives were never intended to be consumed by stuff. When we die, every one of the things we have so carefully treasured will be left behind. 

Today, let's take a careful look at our possessions. What do we need? What is excessive? What can we do without? Make a choice, then make a change.

Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also... Where is your heart?
Our Father, who lives and reigns forever in heaven, help me to take my eyes off this world and plant them on eternity. Help me to let go of my hold on things and cling to You, to store treasure in heaven. In Jesus' name Amen