Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Devotional by Laura Thomas: Worldly Wealth vs. Heavenly Treasures

Stockpiling All The Shiny Things
A devotional by Laura Thomas

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth…”. ~Matthew 6:19a (NIV)

We are so easily distracted, so easily led when it comes to the shiny things in life (please say it’s not just me!) We “Ooo” and “Ahh” over the stunning house, fun vacations, cool cars, and designer wardrobes—none of which are evil in and of themselves…in fact, God can use our wealth and generosity in blessing others, for sure. But that requires willing hearts and open hands. It gets dangerous when the treasures become our all in all.

When Jesus’ ministry begins and he starts teaching the people, everything becomes a heart issue. He makes it crystal clear that when it comes to money, it’s not the money itself that is the root of the problem; it’s the LOVE of money. “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs (1 Timothy 6:10, NIV)." It’s a pretty direct warning!

The accumulation of “stuff”, the treasures of life, can be like a big, black hole, and once we allow the consuming motivation for money to make our decisions for us, we are forced into pushing Jesus into the tiny remaining corner of our hearts.

It’s only when we come across verses like 1 Timothy 6:10 that we take stock and gain a little perspective on the matter. It makes perfect sense, doesn’t it? The things that are most important to us—we dream about, talk about, work for, spend time with—these things are going to occupy our hearts. Everything else will be less important, including our relationship with God.

Jesus, who loves us more than we can ever fathom, wants the very best for us—that’s why He gives us all this amazing teaching in His Word. It’s like a flashing red light warning us, “DANGER! THE SHINY THINGS ARE FILLING YOUR HEART!” And Proverbs 4:23 tells us to guard our hearts because everything we do flows from it. That’s huge!

Honestly, is my heart more concerned with stockpiling all the shiny things (and that can be a myriad of options from diplomas and degrees, to stocks and shares to cars and clothes and beyond) or am I concerning myself with the riches of heaven? Does the prospect of being in the eternal presence of God supersede me living in the best house on the block? If I have hindsight when I reach glory, will I give my own face a slap as I look back and regret the lost opportunities of putting Christ first, being generous, giving cheerfully, thinking of others more, and less of me and my shiny things.

When I think of what treasure really matters to me today and whom I should be serving with my whole heart (not just a tiny corner)—I know deep down what I want and whom I need. Only when I immerse myself in the Bible, guard my heart, and keep an eternal perspective can I walk in obedience and not be obsessed with the treasures here and now.

As The Message (a version of The Holy Bible) so bluntly puts it in Matthew 6:21, “It’s obvious, isn’t it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being.”

Forget all the shiny things. Give me Jesus.

Author bio:
Laura is a published Christian author with a heart for inspiring and encouraging readers of all ages. 

She is truly multi-genre—with a published Christian teen fiction trilogy, marriage book, children’s stories, devotionals for Union Gospel Press, musings on her blog, and she now has a literary agent representing her Christian romantic suspense novel. 

Laura is English and Canadian, married to her high school sweetheart, mom of three, passionate about faith and family…and chocolate! 

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