Lay Up Treasures in Heaven - Digital Bible Journaling
I'm still reading through the Gospels chronologically and am thankful for those who are still following along, although I've been consolidating life and moving where I post them. At least my blog has been the one constant place.
I've not wanted to post my notes on the blog because my notes constantly change and I like to delete them later. I suppose I can always delete them here as well, so I'm going to try this out putting them here and then sharing to social networking. My blog has always been where everyone on every social networking platform can find me.
I think today's verses are really good to focus on right now. I keep being pulled into watching all this political drama unfolding on the internet. What controls my thoughts and desires right now? What gets my time?
We are at Matthew 6:19:24 today. Next is Matthew 6:25-34.
There is the old saying, "you can't take it with you!" Jesus lays out for us a choice between two things, temporary earthly stuff or eternity in heaven. One has no value forever and the other is of ultimate value. The things of this earth can cause stress, such as being a target for thieves, things being used up or worn out or destroyed and in need of replacement or maintenance, and being a good steward of the things God gives me. Certainly I need to do what I can to live comfortably because basic needs are necessary for a healthy me. Unless I am healthy, I cannot do my best for God's kingdom. The problem is in excess and when there is more focus in my heart on getting things than on God.
It can be difficult for those who are blessed with a lot of earthly treasures because it leads to the temptation of the heart being in the wrong place. It is not wrong to have a lot of earthly treasures, but it is a matter of the heart. Which is more important, the stuff or God? Am I content or does the striving to get more stuff affect other areas of my life? Where do I spend my energy? What do I spend my time thinking about? Am I using what God has blessed me with to the benefit of God's kingdom? Am I giving God credit?
How do I "store up treasures in heaven?" My faith is my treasure in heaven and to keep the faith, I am focused on Jesus and not on earthly things. Investing my time in the work of Christ rather than the work of possessions is investing in the Kingdom of God.
I never think of "storing up treasures in heaven" as tithing, but certainly it could be related for if you are not giving your money towards gaining possessions, you would be giving it to things that build up God's kingdom.
Jesus reminds me that my vision should be to see how God sees. A "healthy eye" is fixed on Jesus, the source of The Light. If the eye is focused on bad, the whole body will feel the darkness.
What controls my thoughts and desires and motivates me to action? Am I self-serving or God-serving? If the building of possessions controls my motives and actions, it is a master over me. My possessions would possess me! Jesus tells me there can only be one master that controls my heart. There is no "lukewarm" or "sitting on the fence" in God's eyes.
Revelation 3:15-16, "I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth."
1 Timothy 6:10, "For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs."
1 John 2:15-16, "Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world."
Matthew 12:30, "Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters."
Exodus 20:17, "You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor's."