Sitting around a living room with friends I have come to love, talking about God and the Bible, is one of my favorite things about church. The other week it was Matthew 6, next week it’s discipleship, and the next we begin looking at James.
The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being. Matthew 6:21 The Message
Treasure: something of great worth or value, a collection of precious things.
Lately I have been prompted to consider the choices I make. Choices that result in my personal collection of precious things. Does my collection please my Heavenly Father? Does the treasure I keep excite Him? I really want it too.
I think freedom is embracing how He wired me to be, and choosing accordingly, with no fear of how others perceive me or the perfectionistic pressure culture might try to place on me.
Do I choose simplicity? Do I prioritize my family or my neighbors or making new friends? Do I want to be known for service, or hospitality, or inspiration or gift-giving? Do I put quality time with friends or home cleanliness or personal organization or exercise or knowledge first?
We are free to make choices for ourselves. Life is a gift, and it’s unpredictable and wild and important. How are we choosing what gets our utmost attention and what doesn’t?
I decided to go to the Source, and ask God to show me the priorities I need. I want to get from Him what the most important thing for my day.
I know days started with Him are the best ones. He gives joy and strength and passion and peace that I wouldn’t have apart from Him. In light of that, I want to treasure what is important to Him.
It can be difficult to know exactly what that is unless I seek His wisdom, His heart. And what’s interesting? What He deems most valuable, the world, and even other humans around, might judge and say I’m missing something or choosing wrongly.
But I must choose God’s way, and love others with my passions and gifts. Everything else will fall flat.
Life sometimes seems more than we handle, because we’re weak and finite humans, but that pushes us to always run toward Jesus.
My grandpa recently had a minor heart attack and a few complications in the hospital. I went to visit him at home, and was flooded with memories of my late grandmother who passed away 9 years ago. As I was leaving the house, I invited God into my emotions and thoughts. How do we live with sadness? How do we live in overwhelming seasons? How do we choose joy in the midst of hurt or stress? How do we prioritize Glory and fight mediocrity?
The answer that came to me was: be obsessed with Me. In Me is everything you need or want for every possible scenario you face.
Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses? Jesus replied, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: Love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:36-39
I was convicted, realizing my desperation to know Him intimately and be close to Him.
Desperate to see Him in everything, so I can always believe there is Loving Light even when days are dark and difficult. He knows the days, hours, and minutes before they get to me. He can be trusted with any burden, a Help for any task, counsel for every problem.
God has given me the greatest gift in the entire world: salvation through His Son Jesus, an eternal home with Him and all my loved ones who know Him, and great hope for this life.
I want this reality, my reality, to be evident in my life.
New habit: asking God daily to show me the priorities I need to make.
For me, it might be having a swinging door to our home, and never worrying about having a spotless home or a Southern Living dining room. Or not knowing all the current news or latest authors, but being familiar with Jesus’ words to His disciples or the choices Moses made to follow God. Or since cooking is not my strong suit, I’ll find peace with making simpler recipes and focus more on those around the table. Or leaving either Saturday morning or Sunday afternoon always open for rest no matter what. Or being more about a steady stream of encouragement with texts and letters to friends and fretting less about buying them absurdly specific fabulous gifts. We’ll see.
There needs to be an authentic love for God that starts with God-oriented affections, desires, and thoughts, that permeates our speaking and behavior, and then influences the way we spend our money and how we dress, and drive, and our forms of entertainment. Whether we’re eating or singing, jogging or blogging, texting or drawing, love for Yahweh — the one true triune God — is to be in action and seen. Jason DeRouchie