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The right place for your treasure

November 14, 2022

Daily Scripture

Matthew 6:19-21

19 “Stop collecting treasures for your own benefit on earth, where moth and rust eat them and where thieves break in and steal them. 20 Instead, collect treasures for yourselves in heaven, where moth and rust don’t eat them and where thieves don’t break in and steal them. 21 Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Daily Reflection & Prayer

Jesus’ echoed the wisdom of Hebrew sages: hoarding this world’s “treasures” does not produce a fulfilling life (cf. Proverbs 11:26, 21:20). Sadly, many Hebrew leaders in Jesus’ day ignored that part of their tradition. Just before this, the Lord’s Prayer asked that God bring in his kingdom “on earth as it’s done in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). “Heaven” was not just a far future reality. Making God’s kingdom your treasure now was wiser than saving the kind of treasure that might corrode or thieves could steal.

  • N. T. Wright said Jesus taught us how to enjoy heavenly treasure right now. “How can one do this? Well, the whole chapter so far gives us the clue. Learn to live in the presence of the loving father. Learn to do everything for him and him alone. Get your priorities right.” * Are you brave enough to reorient your priorities and give Jesus’ way a serious try?
  • Have you ever put money into something some trusted source said was “secure,” only to see it prove insecure? So many things can use part of our “treasure”—vacations, various collectibles, prized belongings, tickets to special events, houses, cars, retirement savings. Where is your heart? Do you put as much time and energy into “investing” in God’s heavenly kingdom as into earthly investments and spending choices?

Lord Jesus, you are Lord of my life, and I want to “collect” your kinds of treasures. Increase my capacity to live out your values in my everyday choices of how to spend my time, energy and money. Amen.

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Picture of  Karra Karst

Karra Karst

Karra Karst serves on the Adult Discipleship team at Resurrection-- all locations. When not at work, you can find her adventuring with her husband, Stephen, and dog, Rosey. She enjoys a good joke as much as she does her daily iced latte.

One of my favorite things to do in my free time is to attend estate sales. Since I grew up going to second-hand stores as a necessity rather than a trend, there’s the thrill of finding something special for a good deal. Estate sales, though, are even more unique. The house of the estate sale has been fully combed through, laying out everything one might have in their home. While some are displayed like a museum, most look like many of our homes would: lived-in, cluttered with trinkets, and lots of unspoken stories, all left behind.

When my grandmother passed in 2016, we helped my grandfather with selling the house so he could move closer to us. We rummaged through the closets and drawers deciding on what to keep, donate and throw away. My grandparents were not hoarders of material things, but you never realize how much you have until you have to move. You also realize that some of the important things are not always the things of monetary value. You ensure to keep the plastic 101 Dalmatians cup because you always drank apple juice from it as a kid but donate the fancy dishes. Most of the items from my grandparents’ home will reside in my memories, not in my house.

When I notice the few items in my home that remind me of them, their legacy feels near. But when things break, wear out, and are no longer needed, this doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten their impact on my life. The way my grandparents loved me is something no one could take away from me. It was something I trusted, knew and desired to duplicate because it was so special. For me, this is just a glimmer of the way the verses of Matthew parallel in my life. A thief could break into my house and steal my apple juice cup, but they cannot take away the impact my grandparents left on my life.

What would it look like for you to begin a habit of prioritizing the only secure thing we know of? Imagine if you suddenly knew that tomorrow was no longer promised, what would you be focused on today? While God’s desire for us isn’t to live miserable lives, we weren’t created to find long-lasting purpose in the things of this earth. I hope that you can join me in pondering the ways that you can make today’s choices reflect the goodness of God that will last generations to come, things that won’t be found in an estate sale.

© 2024 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

* Wright, N.T., Matthew for Everyone, Part 1: Chapters 1-15 (The New Testament for Everyone) (p. 63). Westminster John Knox Press. Kindle Edition.