Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Where is your treasure? - October 5th, 2011

19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Matthew 6:18-21

History and Context:
The book of Matthew does not actually name an author, but Christian tradition from as far back as we have has claimed Matthew's authorship. The author was clearly a Jewish Christian writing to a main audience of Jewish Christians. For this reason Matthew is careful to clearly lay out how Jesus fulfilled the prophecies in the Hebrew Scriptures. He quotes the Scriptures much more than any of the other Gospel writers. Much of Matthew is very similar to Mark and therefore scholars believe that Matthew drew on the book of Mark for material. The believed date of writing was somewhere around 80 AD but it could be anywhere from 50 to 100 AD.

The Text:
This is another part of the famous Sermon on the Mount. As mentioned before, this sermon covers a wide variety of topics and was probably actually multiple sermons put into one section of the book. This particular passage comes right after Jesus's instructions on prayer, including the famous 'Lord's Prayer'. Jesus is talking about two different realms and two different types of treasure. The world will tell you to build up your financial assets, to increase your net worth. But Jesus points out the very true fact that there is no guarantee on any treasure that is built up here on earth. Eventually all earthly treasure will pass away or be gone, but heavenly treasure is eternal. He then goes on to tell us that our heart follows our treasure. If we treasure earthly things than our heart will be here on earth, but if we treasure heavenly things our heart will be in heaven.

The Challenge:
The first challenge is to find out what kind of things are included in heavenly treasure. What is it that will never be destroyed or stolen? Of course the biggest treasure is our relationship with Jesus. The God of the universe has decided to have a relationship with me! This is the greatest treasure of all and it is what I should invest my time in. But Jesus wants the relationship on His terms; all or nothing. When we follow Him wholeheartedly we build eternal treasure in heaven. When our heart is completely after Jesus, that means our treasure is in Him, and that is a treasure we can never lose!

The Prayer:
Lord, you are my treasure! I place my heart after you and desire to follow you wholeheartedly! I love you! In Jesus' name, Amen!

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