“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. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21
And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” Luke 12:15
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33
The last two and half weeks have been quite a personal adventure! The military packed up all of my family’s possessions and prepared them for transport to our new home. Mark and I gave away a lot of stuff to friends before our move because we knew our house in Erie, Pennsylvania would be less than half of the size of our house in Boise, Idaho. I didn’t think we had that many possessions left that needed to be packed, but I was wrong. There were so many boxes everywhere after the movers left! Moreover, I didn’t think we would have that much stuff to fit into our small car along with our three cats, but it was a tight squeeze and made for an interesting commute for the next 2,000 miles to our destination. And now that we are here in our new home and our possessions will arrive in a couple of days, I hope I will find a home for all of them inside of the house. If not, I will gladly give away my extra possessions to those in need. I don’t want or need excess!
I have been reminded lately that our time on Earth is just temporary. Just as military families must pack lightly to prepare for work wherever and whenever the government needs them, so too must Christians. When God calls you to go somewhere to accomplish His work, you do not want to be weighted down with baggage. You want to be ready at a moments notice, and this requires that we tread lightly. We consume only what we need wherever we are sent. The Bible says it is far better to give than to receive. I think this true! There is a great satisfaction to be found in blessing others. We should not be greedy and want more than what is required or envious of what others have acquired. We must learn to be content, to appreciate, and to be good stewards with the provisions the Lord has been gracious enough to bestow upon us. The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Everything on Earth belongs to the Lord. We are merely here to borrow it while the Lord gives us breath. When we are bogged down by the things and cares of this world, we drag our feet in accomplishing the Lord’s will for our lives. When we allow the Lord to empty us of our imperfect selves, He can fill us more completely with Himself, which is pure and Holy and perfect. What a great tradeoff! I would much rather get rid of junk and lay hold of the Lord’s treasures than to hoard stuff that doesn’t have any eternal value. What is it that you really treasure in your life? The Lord says that whatever is your treasure is where your heart can be found. Do you treasure something on Earth more than your relationship with God and your love for His people?
Ask the Lord what you are holding onto physically, spiritually and emotionally that would be better to throw away or ship out of your lives forever. Let Him determine the difference between your wants and your needs. Remember that our time on Earth is limited. When our physical bodies die we will spend our eternity in heaven. It is far better to invest in our eternal well being than it is to accumulate wealth here on Earth. The things of this world will get dusty and rusty. They will fade away and eventually disappear completely. We cannot take any of them with us when we leave this Earth. The Lord needs YOU and not your stuff, your money, your education, your personality, your status, you wealth, your popularity – you name it! Name, claim it, and let it go. Ask the Lord to bless you with something of spiritual value in exchange for each item you give up that has material value. Let that old box of stained, ripped or outsized clothes go in exchange for robes of wisdom, virtue and reverence towards God. Cast off those desires for your neighbor’s nice car or fancy furnishings in exchange for a pure heart and a desire for worship of the true and living God. And do likewise as you go through all of the different stuff in your life. Open up space for God in your life today!
What is it that defines you? Is it your career? Your house? Your status? Your wealth? Your education? Your talents and natural abilities? Something else that the world defines as the measure of a man? The Bible says a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of His possessions. So what is the substance of your life? Can others identify it? Is it tangible or intangible? Is it reaping eternal value or does it only have temporary Earthly value? Does it bring glory and delight to the Lord or is it just for your own personal gratification and self satisfaction? Is it being used to bless and love others? Does it help accomplish the purposes and will of God?
Pray this Prayer: Dear Lord, I thank you that Jesus gave up everything so I could spend eternity with Him. Please help me to give up the things of this world that do not matter and to replace them with that which is important to you. May all I have be used to further the work of your kingdom and to bring glory, honor and praise unto your Holy name. May the substance of my life reflect your image. Amen.”