Thursday, September 18, 2008

Matthew 13:44-46 "Treasure of the Heart"

Read Matthew 13:44-46.

"The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field." NIV
Now of course Jesus is not saying here that salvation can be purchased. Neither is He saying that you must go out and sell everything you have to follow Jesus. It's a parable, not literal directions.
What He is saying is something every one of us should evaluate for our own lives. He's saying that our devotion to Christ should be of such priority and importance that it has first place in our lives. Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, is second to following Christ. Our spouse, our children, our friends, our careers, our possessions, our hobbies, our personal comfort, our goals, our recreation, our dreams all fall behind following Christ. And in doing so, we are demonstrating to God that He is first in our life and to others the true value that the kingdom of heaven holds in our lives. He is the treasure that we must hold dear and protect at all cost. Nothing and no one takes precedence over Him.

I probably should evaluate this daily, but at least periodically, look at each area of my life and ask this question, "Am I putting ___________ in front of God?" Sometimes, the thing may be a worthy activity that serves Him. But if I am placing greater importance on the act of service to God than on being His obedient follower, my priorities are out of whack. Our schedule of activities each day and our checkbook tell exactly where we rank our priorities. If I am not being a servant of Jesus Christ in everything I do, I've got it all wrong.

Now in many ways this is an attitude of the heart and my Christianity defining who I am. For example, we have to work to live. It's simply a fact of life - no work, no money, then no food or housing. But because I am a follower of Christ and all followers are called to be ministers of the gospel, I can be a follower while doing my job. I don't set aside my very essence as a believer in Jesus Christ so I can go do my job. I do my job as a believer in Jesus Christ. I work hard; keep respectful, cooperative, healthy relationships with my co-workers and clients; I am a person of integrity, humility and grace. I share the love of Christ simply through my actions and attitudes or through, more overtly, telling them about Jesus. That is doing my job with Christ first in my life.

Therefore, I must be willing to give up everything for Christ. Before anyone or anything, He is my treasure and my life is the pedestal on which to display His glory.

Further Thoughts:
  1. Look in a concordance for the word "treasure." Compare and contrast God's definition of a treasure with the world's.
  2. Define "lord." If Christ is Lord of your life, how does that make Him your treasure? What parts of your heart need to change to be in line with His lordship?
  3. Evaluate your day yesterday. Did you live it with Christ as the priority? Was there anything in your day that was contrary to Christ? If yes, why? Do you need to seek forgiveness for any attitudes or actions?
  4. Is Christ your treasure? If so, how does that play out in your every day life? What does that mean for the priorities of your heart?

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