Spiritual Treasures

Don’t hoard treasure down here where it gets eaten by moths and corroded by rust or—worse!—stolen by burglars. Stockpile treasure in heaven, where it’s safe from moth and rust and burglars. It’s obvious, isn’t it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being. Your eyes are windows into your body. If you open your eyes wide in wonder and belief, your body fills up with light. If you live squinty-eyed in greed and distrust, your body is a dank cellar. If you pull the blinds on your windows, what a dark life you will have!

You can’t worship two gods at once. Loving one god, you’ll end up hating the other. Adoration of one feeds contempt for the other. You can’t worship God and Money both. If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don’t fuss about what’s on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds.

Has anyone by fussing in front of the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? All this time and money wasted on fashion—do you think it makes that much difference? Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them.

If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes. ~Matthew 6:19-34 (the MSG)

Each fall, I start getting more mail, more mail-order catalogues to be specific. Each fall, I try my best to tear out any pages that have my name on them, shred them and then through the entire catalogue away.  Every once in a while I yield to the temptation, start leafing through them, start thinking I don’t have enough of this or that, and soon I realize I am in a place I don’t want to be. I don’t want to be there because it is a place of impossibility, a place of thinking about not having enough and not being enough.

At this point in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus isn’t teaching that one shouldn’t worship both God and money, he is warning his followers that one simply can’t worship both God and Money. The more you and I try to remain loyal to both the kingdom of God and the kingdom of “not enough,” the more anxiety, worry and chaos we will encounter in our lives. But it doesn’t have to be this way. In the kingdom of God, lives are transformed by the simple reality that “I am enough” and “I have enough.”  You and I are treasured by God.  Moreover, through Jesus Christ, we have been given more than enough of God’s spiritual treasures…of God’s faith, hope and love.

The one who is born again cannot be scrupulously and anxiously preoccupied
with himself, although he lives in the experience. His life has become new
because, being oriented toward the new creation, he lives in the presence of
the Spirit and under his influence, the “earnest of glory.”
~Jurgen Moltmann

May you and I give our entire attention to what God is doing right now, as we seek to share our spiritual treasures with others.

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