January 24 I Thursday
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” —Matthew 6:21
Everyone is storing up treasure in some way. For some, this is the range of their assets or size of their bank balance. For others, like the hypocrites who give, pray and fast publicly, it is their reputation before others. Whatever the case, we all have something in our lives that gives us reason to get out of bed in the morning. What controls the heart is our treasure, which can be either earthly or heavenly.
The challenge is we straddle both spheres. No matter how heavenly our interests may be, we live on earth and are subject to its demands, pressures and values. The reason this is so important is shown in the progression of thought Jesus gives in Matthew 6:19-24. He starts with the heart but then goes on to say, “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness” (Matthew 6:22-23). The thrust of this is that our vision, the goals that motivate us in the present, are either good and bring light or bad and bring darkness.
Jesus then moves from vision to master: “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money”
(Matthew 6:24). The subtlety of treasure is we assume it will serve us, but when our heart is set on something, that thing begins to captivate. In our pursuit of it, what began as our treasure and grew into our vision becomes our master. Instead of it serving us, we serve it.
To ask the questions, “What is your treasure?”; “What is your vision?”; and “What is your master?” is essentially asking the same thing. Our treasure, vision and master are one. It is true God created us free to make choices, but our freedom of choice is limited to one fundamental option—we choose our master. From then on, everything we do, value and hope for are simply the logical expression of the mastering principle of our lives.
Our treasure can be either earthly or heavenly, temporary or permanent, self-centred or God-centred, but it cannot be both. The world tells us that status and success are tied to our riches, but the world has it backwards. Though we live in the temporal, a mature Christian has the eternal at heart. We either serve God or ourselves, and which we choose determines where we store up our treasures.
Prayer: Sovereign Lord, bring my heart into alignment with Yours so that I prioritize the right kind of treasures. You are my master, and You will never lead me wrong. Thank You, God.