Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Treasure - What Are We Storing Up?

Living life in America, and a number of other countries, isn't always peaceful and fulfilling. I am not down on America, I am just thinking about other things today. For many of us, we get bogged down in trying to make a living or go to school (or both), friends and family, and a host of other things that we fill our lives with.

Recently I was trying to recall some of the thoughts I had during my walk around Walden Pond a few weekends ago. I enjoyed the crisp New England air and the vibrant colors of Fall. There were moments I felt connected with God, enjoying the stillness of the pond-- not a ripple on her surface. There were other moments as I smiled at a passer by, marveled at those swimming in the 50 degree water, enjoyed the interaction of my kids, watched the minute wake of a far-off canoe gliding on the water, and the graceful landing of a blue heron in her favorite fishing spot.

Those are times when I just enjoy God as He is. I am not praying or being all religious. I am just enjoying His creation; in awe of how it reveals His character. It is a peaceful feeling that I can't get commuting to work on the Interstate, and rarely anywhere else. For me it's tough to get out of the day-to-day and disconnect from life so that I can connect with Him.

I was also thinking about where I spend my time, my money and my passion? Those are the indications of my personal spiritual climate... sort of the barometer, the temperature and the humidity of my life. It is often a meditative "check" for me.

Mathew 6:20 But keep on storing up treasures for yourselves in heaven, where moths and rust do not destroy and where thieves do not break in and steal. ISV

What are your priorities in life? If we put God first (not just going to church) what does that look like? How do we put God first? Prayer, reading the Bible, serving others? How? By doing the greatest commandment, loving Him with all your heart, your mind and your soul. It is really a tall order. Look at your checkbook, your day-timer and your free-time activities. There you will begin to see just how well you are doing.

If you are married, the second one is easy, it is our spouse. I don't know how often I see couples having a tough time, she takes care of the kids and probably works, he works hard at a job. Somehow, everything seems to come before time alone together. It is easy to let work or kids become a shield to intimate conversation and romance. But so can careers and immediate family. I look forward to a time when it is a easier to leave the little one so my wife and I can slip away for an occasional weekend. For now we look forward to date nights, and "Princess Workshops' at the ballet school that give us a chance to just be together.

If you have kids, they come before golf, TV and just about everything else. Parenting is not for kids and marriage isn't either. Both require work, and sacrifice. It is hard to spend quality time when you could easily put them in from of the TV. Like many, we all need a little relaxing time and the demands of children can be endless, making it a tough decision.

Four: at least one person in a couple, someone has got to go to work and possibly both. Overtime is nice and so is working hard for your company; as unto the Lord. But it can't come before the needs of your family.

And finally, ministry. It is the way the body functions. We each do our part both in church and outside the walls. We make time to do the things that we are commanded. We operate in our gifts and we look for divine opportunities to do His will on earth and expand that Kingdom.

Our priorities are the place where we leave room for God to set Divine appointments, a place where He partners with us to create the very treasures that have eternal meaning. Apparently there will be a test.

1 Corinthians 3:10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it. 11 For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. 14 If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. 15 If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

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