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What do You Treasure?

February 12, 2010

Imagine that a friend calls you from another city.  She is staying  in a hotel for several days on a short vacation.  There is excitement in her voice as she tells you that she decided to redecorate her hotel room. She put in a new wood floor, purchased new drapes, and completely remodeled the bathroom.  She also got new furniture including a very expensive new HD TV.  Not wanting to misunderstand her, you ask her how much money she spent. Without hesitation she blurts out, “It only cost me $15,000!  Isn’t it great?  I’ll get to enjoy it for three more days before I come home!”

As preposterous as this sounds, we do this everyday. In fact we spend most of our time and talent accumulating things that are temporary and some day will rot and decay. Jesus knew this when He warned us in the Sermon on the Mount:

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasure in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 5:19-21 (NASB)

Take an inventory of what you treasure.  What would keep you up at night if it was lost? What do you spend the bulk of your time trying to collect?  These could be material possessions, power, prestige, relationships, or pleasures. Jesus reminds us that what we treasure is also where our heart is.  The Expositor’s Commentary on Matthew helps explain why this is dangerous to our soul.

The things we most treasure occupy the “heart” which is the center of the personality, embracing mind, emotions, and will.  The heart controls the whole person’s direction and values.

Want to know what controls your actions and your values? Look at what you treasure. Are you spending all your time, talent, wealth, and effort decorating a “hotel room” that will some day rot and decay? Or are you investing in things that will last for eternity? Jesus let us know how to achieve the latter.

No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other.  You cannot serve both God and wealth.”  Matthew 6:24 (NASB)

In other words, you can’t devote all your time decorating a “hotel room” and still invest in the kingdom of heaven. Don’t let Satan deceive you in thinking any treasure other than Christ is worth your time!

*Illustration on the hotel room was originally given by David Arthur of Precept Ministries.

*Photo used under a Creative Commons License

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