December 11

Text: Matthew 6:19-21

 "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures upon 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 or steal; for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”   (NASB)

Matthew saw a person in Jesus whose understanding of the connection between the physical and the spiritual was different.  The ultra-religious among the Jews of Jesus’ time often viewed physical wealth as highly desirable (consider Luke 16:14, 15).  Some of them considered physical wealth to reflect God’s approval (consider Acts 23:8—if there is nothing beyond the physical, then physical prosperity demonstrates God’s approval).  In every age it is easy to couple physical wealth and spirituality.

Consider our age.  Physical wealth and the lifestyle of wealth are seen as success.  Poverty and the lifestyle of being poor are seen as failure.  The person who grew up in poverty but now lives the lifestyle of the “secure” is a person who “made it.”  Why did the person “make it?”  Why is he or she now considered successful?  How often is “making it” associated with money and lifestyle?

Jesus said that before we consider something valuable—worthy of an investment of our lives—we should consider how long that which we value will last.  Is its existence bound to the realities of the physical world, or does it extend beyond the physical world?

If what we value extends beyond the physical world, it does so because it is secured by God.  The values of God are the true reality.  A choice we all make is determined by how we look at physical existence.  We all make at least two decisions.  (1) Does physical reality reflect a higher reality?  (3) If so, who controls that higher reality?

Jesus observed that we belong to what we value.  In crunch time, who I truly am will determine how I act and what I do.  In those times, what I value determines who I really am.  I will not belong to God in crunch times if I do not value God before those times come.

Suggestion for reflection: What do you value?  Why?  (Read Matthew 19:23-30.)

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