Friday, October 29, 2010

Where My Treasure Is

"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 moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." (Matthew 6:19-21)

I consider my self pretty materialistic; I love things! :) New stuff to wear just makes me feel better, new stuff to cook with just makes the food taste better, new linens on the bed just make me sleep better. And sometimes I just want more than I have! Although I am pretty sure that Jesus does not deny that we have these desires, I need to remember that these things I value and invest in can be gone in a minute; earthly possessions are only temporary. My desire should be to seek to please God and others, not just to please myself. I need to change my perspective and make sure that I am always investing and storing treasures in Heaven because only these treasures can last for eternity. And God has blessed me with more than enough gifts, blessings, and plenty of duties to keep me pretty busy until Jesus returns. My faith, service, and total submission to God is the only sure way to store treasures in Heaven. In addition, I need to get my priorities straight in regards to saving money; I like the comfort of knowing I have plenty "stashed" for emergencies and for the future. But I need to think beyond accumulating wealth for earthly security, and focus more on using what He has given to me to help benefit others so that I don't enter eternity empty handed! 

"Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant or to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasures for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life." (l Timothy 6:17-19)

I once heard that the definition of "Treasure in Heaven" is simply "living life with open hearts and open hands." We have to open our hearts to the poor and the weak in spirit. If we lay our hands on the intangible things in life, like being kind to others, doing good deeds, assisting the poor, and leading others to Christ, then we are creating treasures that will be sent on ahead of us to Heaven. It's often difficult to put these actions in front of our own desires and agenda, but we have to listen to God's voice (and obey Him!) when He is instructing us to give and affect the lives of those around us. This involves me to leave my comfort zone, and to quit being selfish with my time and material things. It means I have to avoid putting my schedule and "stuff" in front of what will really produce life-changing results in not only others but me!

"Heavenly Father, help us not to spend too much of our lives worrying about fancy treasures here on earth. Help us to live life Jesus' way and have true treasure in Heaven. In Jesus name-Amen! (A Children's Prayer)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Too Much Busyness

"My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from Him. He alone is my rock and salvation; He is my fortress, I will never be shaken." (Psalm 62:1-2)

Whoever said that things start to slow down and get easier when you reach your 50's? I heard it time and again growing up, and by my mid 40's I was actually looking forward to this time in my life. However I find that I have just as much to do, and less time to do it all! I am literally so afraid of boredom that I deliberately fill any free time with activities and planned events to take advantage of every single minute of the day. I find that waking up each morning to an endless list of responsibilities and things to do can sap my energy and prevent me from focusing on what is really important. And worst of all, it probably robs me of some peace of mind and simplicity that additional praying, resting, and meditating would bring. Although I cherish, nurture, and hunger for time spent in relationships, fellowship, and multiple tasks, I constantly fall into a trap of over-scheduling, over-doing and over-committing my time.

"He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." (Isaiah 40:29-31)

Too many times I am ambushed by my own "busyness." I often forget that I need to be a good steward of my time, and that always rushing is preventing me from appreciating the day and resting in God's strength. My time belongs not only to me, but to God. And I always want more of it! After all these years, I still need to learn to manage my time to please God more, not just others or myself. God is delighted when we rest in Him, and when we do He gives us freedom from busyness, and restores our strength so that we can get through another day. Even though multitasking is very efficient, trying not to schedule too many things in one day is going to take some additional maturing and disciplining on my part, and I have to trust and rely on God to figure out how much time it really takes to accomplish all the many things I set out to do. 

Show me the stairway
I have to climb
Lord for my sake teach me to take
one day at a time.

One day at a time sweet Jesus
that's all I'm asking from you
Just give me the strength
To do everyday
What I have to do