Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Devotionals for the Heart: Why Jesus Christ is Our Greatest Treasure

Our Greatest Treasure
A devotional by Sarah Cole

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
—Matthew 6:19-21 (NIV)

Thrift store shopping is my Achilles heel, the only hobby that, if left unchecked, sends me on a never-ending treasure hunt. My friend Deb understands my predicament. She can shop like there's no tomorrow, provided she honors her husband's wishes by donating unwanted items before stepping foot in the store.

Bargain hunting, like any other addiction, is captivating. All it takes is a designer top, a piece of jewelry, or a unique knick-knack to itch a place inside we can't scratch. But it's only temporary, and the addictive cycle is stuck on repeat.

Idolatry is like that.

Whether it's more likes on Facebook, a lower number on the scale, a promotion, or that attention-getting outfit, we're all hunting for something. None of these pursuits are wrong in and of themselves, but if we're not careful, we can fall for the lie that something or someone other than Jesus Christ can meet our deepest needs.

The bottom line is that we have an enemy (Satan), and his full-time job is to tempt us into chasing anything other than Jesus by giving it first place in our hearts. But what he doesn't mention is that the cost of idolatry is a thirsty soul on the verge of exhaustion.

We all have a God-shaped space inside, and when we try to fill it with anything else, we set ourselves up for disappointment. Because in the eternal scheme of things, Christ is the only One who can satisfy us. Only He deserves our deepest devotion, and His love, peace, and joy are treasures in an inheritance He bought for us when He died on the cross for our sins (1 Peter 1:3-4). As our Savior, He is everything we'll ever need. We've been searching for Him in all the wrong places; we just didn't know it. Yet He's always been there, ready and waiting for us to call on His name.

Friend, if any of this resonates with you, I encourage you to engage in this battle plan:

First, recognize areas where you're most vulnerable to temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13).

Confess anything you've allowed to draw you away from God and ask for His forgiveness (1 John 1:9).

Ask a trusted friend to hold you accountable (James 5:16).

Remember your identity in Christ and how crazy He is about you (Ephesians 1:4-14 and Ephesians 3:16-19).

Put on your spiritual armor before your feet hit the floor (Ephesians 6:11-17).

Spend time with God each day. In addition to Bible study, try out a prayer journal or a coloring book with devotional pages. Or find a prayer partner if you don't have one (Matthew 6:6 and Matthew 6:33).

Ask the Holy Spirit to protect you when you're about to fall prey to one of Satan's traps (Galatians 5:16).

If you're like me, exhausted by chasing the things of this world only to be repeatedly disappointed, it's time to stop spinning your wheels, surrender the counterfeits you've settled for, and exchange them for the greatest treasure of them all: Jesus Christ.

Let's Pray:
Father God, this world offers many treasures that can potentially steal me away from You. When these counterfeits captivate my heart, help me remember that only You can meet my deepest needs. In Jesus's Name I pray. Amen.

Note from Alexis: Sarah's devotional message today reminds me of the song "Treasure" by Meredith Andrews. Listen to it here.

Author Bio:

Sarah Cole’s interest in writing began in grade school when her poem was published in the local paper. As she got older, her mother’s chronic illness inspired her to design a line of greeting cards. 

Since then, she has written for her college newspaper and two community newspapers where she wrote restaurant reviews and articles for their “Best of” spread.

Her experience as an administrator in the marketing field gave her the opportunity to write ads for a local business journal.

After a 20-year detour and a three-year season of adversity, God reignited her passion to write. Two divine appointments later, the short story she wrote about her father appeared in the St. Paul Almanac, and a short story about her cocker spaniel Gigi was published in Guideposts (magazine) Mysterious Ways. She believes her adversity was worth the lessons God taught her.

During this year (2022) and the next (2023), Sarah’s devotionals will be published in The Secret Place by Judson Press, as well as David C. Cook’s Devotions and The Quiet Hour. To this day, she smiles, pinches herself and gives God all the glory.

When she’s not writing, Sarah enjoys watching cooking shows, designing cards and mugs, and taking day trips.

Connect with Sarah:

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