April 11, 2021

Great God, My Treasure

If riches increase, do not set your heart on them.
Psalm 62:10
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus gave us a way to picture our blessings and our values and priorities. He gave us the treasure chest. And so let's place that image in our mind's eye today. In opening our chest, does it squeak, a creak, or a groan? The noise it makes in our minds might tell us how often we open our treasure chest. And however often we open it might indicate how often we share what’s in there, or whether it’s something that we openly admit we treasure, or something we idolize only in secret. 

Now that it’s open, it’s time to look inside to see what it is we’ve kept since the last time we took stock of our treasure—that is, our blessings, our values, or our priorities. What do we see? Do we see gifts of God that we’ve been letting lie dormant? Or do we see gifts of God that are well used? And if they’re being used, the next question is by whom? Who’s benefiting from the gifts we’ve been given? The church, the community, the world? …or only ourselves? But what if when we open our treasure chests, we don’t see the blessings of life, but other stuff? Are we hoarding things we don’t need, things that are bad for us? Money, possessions, addiction, self-indulgence, abuse—words that might describe some of our attitudes not just toward the things in our life, but in some cases also our attitude toward people …or even thought patterns. 

The treasure chest exercise is an excellent way to approach Christianity 101—that is, how to begin (or renew!) our walk with Christ. It requires repentance, which is a change of heart and a change in direction. To be a disciple is to treasure Christ above all things, and to seek Christ's kindom before we seek our own self-interest. Repentance isn't just for Ash Wednesday, or an old-fashioned church revival. It can, and probably should, be a daily reassessment of what we've placed in our heart's treasure chest.

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
 Matthew 6:21
Prayer after thinking about today's devotion:
Be now my vision, O God of my heart;
nothing surpasses the love you impart—
you, my best thought by day or by night,
waking or sleeping, your presence my light.

Riches I need not, nor life's empty praise,
you, my inheritance, now and always;
you and you only are first in my heart,
great God, my treasure, may we never part.
 Trad. hymn, New Century Hymnal adaptation
✙ 
After your own thanksgivings & petitions, close with the Lord's Prayer.

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