LollipopandPearls Theme Song

"Lollipop and Pearls" - Jared Kraft

Friday, June 25, 2010

Treasures and the heart

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Mt. 6:21; Luke 12:34)

As a child I loved going on treasure hunts! The anticipation of finding something first and/or discovering something no one else had made my tummy flutter with excitement! Today I still enjoy treasure hunting at garage sales, antique and junk stores, and estate sales. I love saving money and finding bargains; the exhilaration of stumbling across something I genuinely need at a bargain price is priceless! I recently found the treasure below in an antique store attached to the tea room where my Mom, friend Linda, her Mom and I met for lunch. Perusing the shop after a delectable lunch was my exercise program for that day! Toot! Toot!

I have been in a “retro” season of décor for my kitchen, and have looked often at these type tables. It takes me back to my early days spent with grandparents and great grandparents on the farm, hand-milking cows, checking the chicken coop for eggs, and running around barefoot in freshly cut grass! When I saw this table and chairs it felt like home. My mom blessed us with the table for our anniversary and I purchased its coordinating chairs! LOVE IT!

Our church is in a series based on 1 Timothy 6: 17-19: “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.” There are astounding statistics about rich vs. poor, how they live their lives and spend their money. Here is a stat for you: Many of the people sitting in a congregation on any given Sunday morning are in the top 4-5% of wage earners in this country. Read that again! You may be rich and not even know it! Another statistic: In America, the more money a person has the lower the percentage of their income they give away. Did you grasp that? The poor of our country are typically more generous with what they have than those with money, fame, and ‘stuff” galore! Our pastor said that “in our culture, we equate ‘busy-ness’ with significance”. In other words, if I am working constantly for my church, giving to others, serving on committees, tithing, and organizing VBS, etc. I am significant/important/valued by God, correct? Is that the God of the Universe who created us in His image and for His pleasure? The reality is that we can’t do enough to earn His love; we cannot do too little to make His loves less. “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so”. My busy-ness means nothing to Him unless I am being obedient to His call on my life. He would rather I do NOTHING for Him and be in a deep, abiding, personal relationship with Him, than He would desire me to be busy all the time “for Him”. “You can be rich in busy-ness yet bankrupt in good deeds!” (Justin Davis)

Jesus said that it is easier for the poor to have faith in God, because the rich always have something competing for their attention. There are trips to be taken, houses to be built and purchased, elegant expensive cars to drive, and parties to attend…distractions from things of God. Jesus never indicates that there is anything immoral or wrong about being wealthy. Many people work very hard, resulting in great wealth; some are blessed with an inheritance of large sums of money…it is what many of those people DO with their wealth that can be right or wrong, according to Scripture. Verse 18 of 1 Timothy 6 says to “command them (those rich in this present world) to do good, to be RICH in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share”. One last stat: The people who give the highest percentage of their money away live below the poverty level”. I don’t know why that shocks me, but it does. Why is it so? Greed, I suppose! Pastor Justin Davis reminded me that because “I have more I should do more and give more!” MORE…not less…not the leftovers. When you invite guests to dinner, you don’t serve leftovers; you work diligently to prepare a special meal to honor your guests. Why, then, should we expect God to be satisfied with our leftovers?

The questions to ponder then are these: Do you obtain your identity fully from your relationship with Christ, or is it attained through money and/or stuff? Will money and stuff bring you peace of mind? If not, are you getting, getting, and getting some more, rather than giving, giving, and giving again? See, our stuff will not go with us when we leave this earth! What WILL go with us for eternity are the treasures of relationships, the treasures of Heavenly things learned, the treasure of knowing Christ ‘on earth as it is in Heaven”. “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in Heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there you heart will be also”. Matt. 6: 19-21

I DO love my cute little retro kitchen table and chairs…I am slowly trying to purge of much unnecessary stuff…and I AM rich~in God’s mercy, His forgiveness, His grace and His love! Glory be to God!

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