Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Eternal Treasure

Our oldest daughter is starting college in the fall, and about a week ago I worked up the courage to check our investments. I stared at the numbers in almost morbid fascination and kicked myself for not selling after the initial drop. 

But a week later, I feel a strange peace, because I needed to be reminded not to store up treasure on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where the thief breaks in and steals. (And where the stock market crashes.) I needed to see the transient nature of all worldly goods. To let that truth really penetrate. Money provides no true security at all, as many people can attest to these days.

The Bible often compares heavenly and worldly treasure. Money is God's number one competitor for our hearts. It brings pleasure, a sense of security, ego gratification, educational opportunities for our children, and leisure. It provides a number of good things. But for that reason, money can blind us to real treasure. 

"But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves." (2 Corinthians 4:7) As Christians, we carry within us an eternal treasure that nothing can destroy. It is the Holy Spirit of God--the essence and power of God himself. That treasure is the abundant life that Jesus came to give. 

George MacDonald says: "Let us in all the troubles of life remember--that our one lack is life--that what we need is more life--more of the life-making presence in us making us more, and more largely, alive." The more closely we walk with God, the more his life fills us, satisfying our deepest needs like money never could. And when we learn to put the most important thing first, we will also find that "all these [other things that we need] will be added to [us]." (Matthew 6:33)


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