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Stored Treasures

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. Matthew 6:19 NIV

Ironically, the thing we enter the world without and can't take with us is often the most sought-after. I'm speaking of worldly wealth. Don't get me wrong, money itself isn't necessarily the issue–at most, it's zero and ones residing virtually in cyberspace, but the destruction that can happen in the chase. The love of the object–which makes it an idol, can cause harm to others. More importantly, the obsession–placing mammon before God. It destroys souls.

This pursuit is not a new problem; we see the first occurrence in Genesis 4 of the murderous Lamech son of Methushael, Cain’s great-great-great grandson, who took two women as wives when they were considered property. In ancient Egypt, the Pharaohs were buried with their possessions to bring with them on their journey. Meanwhile, their wealth was built on the backs of the slave labor of Israel. In Jesus' time, the Roman rulers possessed wealth in propagating the oppression of the people, and the Jewish tax collectors (ex. Zaccheus), who abused their position by collecting a little something for themselves in the execution of their duties.

But Jesus states what we all are born knowing–earthly wealth is temporary. You can't take it with you. Whatever dollars, euros, pesos, or bitcoins we collect here stay here. The things of value are those to which no monetary value can be attached, the wealth of our souls.

But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (20‭-‬21)

The currency of heaven is our love for God and others. Instead of stepping on the backs of other valued children of God, we liberate them. Where there is hunger, we provide food. Where there is homelessness, we provide shelter. And to provide treatment where there is addiction and illness in all its forms.

Most important is sharing God's compassion, forgiveness, hope, and kindness with everyone. Those who are downtrodden, ignored, forgotten, and neglected need to know that we love them–God loves them. These are the treasures shared in heaven.

God, we confess we have allowed earthly treasures to come between us and you and each other. Knowingly and unknowingly, we have been responsible for the oppression of our siblings in the pursuit of earthly wealth. Father, forgive us. Help us focus on those things that are the currency of heaven, to share the love of Christ and care for our siblings that are so often neglected. We ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.


Pastor Tim

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