May 25, 2011 Devotion Sharing

Devotion Sharing, Submitted by Susanna Lee, Gracepoint Devotions

Matthew 6:19-34

What is the relationship between worries and storing up treasures in heaven? The relationship is that worries about one’s life (what to eat and drink and what to wear–the mundane things of life) will prevent you from storing up treasures in heaven because these worries are endless and all consuming.  These mundane worries will preoccupy the mind and the heart and leave no room for spiritual matters, things that really matter.

What is the significance of the repeated mention of “your heavenly Father” in this passage? The significance of the repeated mention of “your heavenly Father” is to show the relationship and the character of God.  As we expect an earthly father to take care of the needs of his own children, we can confidently trust how much more that our heavenly Father will take care of our needs.  The relationship indicates how much God values us because we are His children and He is our Father.  And because God values us He cares for us and provides for us.

Based on this passage, am I living for earthly reward or heavenly reward? How is this evident in the way I spend my money and what I worry about?  Over the years, I have learned and am continuing to learn to live for heavenly reward.  This is especially evident in the things that I no longer worry about, how I view money and how I spend money, and how I view people.  In the past, especially in my 20s, I used to worry so much about the future–my career, my husband’s career, the welfare of my kids, our finances, where we are going to live, etc.  These worries crowded out my heart from focusing on things that really mattered–if I was relating with God with trust and love, if and I was relating to others with love, and if I was heaven-bounded.  I had so little room to think about what mattered to God because my heart was preoccupied with worries that revolved around the “self” and the temporal and mundane things of daily life.  It caused my heart to shrivel up and the consequences were hoarding my time and possessions.  In the past 20+ years, God has proven to me again and again that if I seek His kingdom and his righteousness first, all these things will be given to me as well.  He has been my faithful Heavenly Father who has met ALL my needs.  I can confess wholeheartedly that I have NO LACK.  As I trusted and sought after God, my worries about my little life waned and my time, emotions, and money are now invested in people as their eternal destiny is what matters the most.  My life no longer revolves around the self and the worries that went with it.  I am so thankful that God delivered me out of that miserable and anxiety-ridden cycle that shriveled up my heart.

Matthew 6:22-24

22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

24 “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.

What lessons can I learn regarding the power of the eyes (i.e., what I see/focus on)? I can learn that the power of the eyes–my perspective and what I choose to see or focus on–affects the entire body, my entire life.  This means my perspective will influence my mind, emotions, and will.  My value system will be set by what I choose to see or not see and what I choose to focus on.  This also affects how I view and treat God and people.  In short, “the power of the eyes” determines how I am going to live out or not live out the purpose and mission that God has prescribed for my life.  If my eyes see spiritual reality that God clearly reveals through the Bible, I will be able to live a life of faith persevering through the hardships and difficulties and overcoming temptations that come my way.  However, if I choose to focus on the physical reality of this life, I can end up living for physical comfort, materialism, and status/image keeping this life can offer.

What have my “eyes” been full of?  What has that done to my heart? In light of how God has been working at our church with the vision of “Acts2 Church in Every College Town” and in the new ministry role that God has called my husband and me to fill for Gracepoint-wide ministries, my “eyes” have been full of observations of what I had not noticed before.  Because of this my heart has been filled with desires for God to enable me and to fill me with His wisdom and strength to carry out the work of properly equipping and training up Kingdom workers.  My heart is urgent as I sense God’s urgency to send out His people to college campuses to save and heal broken lives as the painful statistics indicate that churches in general are losing 80% to 90% of youth from ages 18-24.   Unless we are sensitive to God’s bidding and leading, we might lose the next generation.

Why would it be impossible to serve both God and money? It would be impossible to serve both God and money because we cannot serve two masters.  Money has mastery over us which many people are in denial about.  First, it offers false sense of security and it falsely props us up to think that we are something. Second, it keeps us from trusting and depending on God as it gives us false confidence to be self-reliant.  Third, it causes us to be devoted to the physical reality while ignoring spiritual reality because our hearts get consumed and our bodies get spoiled by the buying power of money:  respect, status, & luxury.

 

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