“Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.”
– Matthew 6:21 (NLT)
It was supposed to be a typical Thursday morning. I thought I had everything together when I got into my truck and drove off to work. After a 28-minute drive, I located a parking space in the lot where I work, shut the truck off, grabbed my coffee mug, and then I found out I had done the most horrific thing I could have ever done to myself. I was in a panic, OH NO this wasn’t happening. ITS GOTTA BE AROUND HERE SOMEWHERE… but with a small cab to look around in, my search was quick and I finally accepted my fate…I forgot my cell phone. My first thought was to go home and get it. After all, how was the known world gonna know that I am even alive? I was gonna justify being late, even though my forgetful self was a mere football field away from the front door of where I work.
“Oh well, I’m just gonna have to do without it” I finally told myself. Then, on the walk up to the front door I gave myself a glimmer of hope. “I’ll ask one of the office ladies to let me jump on her computer and I’ll send out a Facebook message and my panic will be over.” Well when I logged on to my FB account, from a different computer, I got a prompt that said it was gonna send the six-digit code to allow me to log on…to my cell phone. My reaction was simple, “Chris, you’re an idiot” and I just went about my work day.
So, with the outside world shut off from me, I hear this go through my mind sometime after lunch: “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal” (Matt 6:19-20). HUH? Where did that come from? UH-OH…I know from where. Then I thought it through. Sometimes we just covet worldly things and justify their worth to us by saying they’re tools that we need to get through our everyday lives.
Now when Jesus gave this teaching on holding on to worldly objects, the iPhone 6 plus wasn’t attached to everyone’s hip like it is to mine. He wanted His followers to understand that the selfish accumulation of stuff wasn’t good for them. It’s okay to save for a rainy day. After all, Scripture praises the ant for its ability to save for the winter “Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise” (Proverbs 6:6) and then makes this statement, “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” (1 Tim 5:8) As John Stott put’s it “So neither having possessions, not making provision for the future, nor enjoying the gifts of a good Creator are included in the ban on earthly treasure-storage.”
What was Jesus going for when He told His followers not to lay up treasures on earth? The heart, that’s what. If we were to guard our hearts like we guard our stuff, we all would be in better state of existence. Even though nothing was safe in ancient times, in our modern world we do all kinds of things to protect our stuff from being stolen or rotting away. It can become all too consuming and draw us away from what really matters. Even the over doing of doing good deeds (the medieval Roman Catholic Church called this a “treasury of merits”) can draw us away from what really matters. So, what really matters? The Kingdom of Heaven!!
Yeah, so I did kinda feel up the creek without my cell phone that Thursday morning and I gotta give it up to my wife, Kathy, who made a choice not to rifle through it (talk about the ultimate in trust). HOWEVER, what I was taught that day I won’t soon forget. I had a friend that once said that if you can’t use it in eternity it is eternally useless and that day I found that is true, because without the noise of the outside world to contend with God spoke to me and let me know it. All that really matters is the vertical connection. The connection where YHVH says “Can you hear me now?” and then we finally make the decision to listen. Amen?
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris, a graduate of The Colony of Mercy (11-2003) is married (Kathy) with two adult children (Kevin and Karen) and has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008.
Daily Quote: “Whenever the Gospel is taught and people seek to live according to it, there are two terrible plagues that always arise: false preachers who corrupt the teaching, and then Sir Greed, who obstructs right living.” — Martin Luther
This Week’s Verse to Memorize:
For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. – Romans 5:10-11