Friday, April 13, 2012

Divided loyalty is no loyalty at all…………

Don’t store up treasures on earth!  Moths and rust can destroy them, and thieves can break in and steal them.   Instead, store up your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy them, and thieves cannot break in and steal them. Your heart will always be where your treasure is.   Matt. 6:19-21 CEV

The point of all this is that earth is not the place to lay up your treasures.  Jesus told us the parable of the rich fool.  He became prosperous; and so he built great barns to store up all his crops and goods.  He said to his own soul, "Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry".  He was a very cleaver man in the eyes of this world.  He built an outstanding treasure for himself on the earth.

But God spoke to him and said, "Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?"   He died; and left it all for someone else to squander away.  Jesus warned us, "So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God" (Luke 12:16-21).

Moths did not destroy that foolish man's treasure.  Rust didn't destroy it. Thieves didn't break in and steal any of it away.  But still, he lost it all.  This reminds us that all the treasure that we may store on the earth is always temporary. None of it can be kept for very long - even at best.   If a person lays up his treasure in a temporary storehouse subject to moth and rust and theft, then his heart is going to always be oriented toward that which will disappoint him in the end and cause him to suffer loss.

We also need to understand that Jesus does not condemn wealth, or earthly things. His concern is with our attitude towards them.  It is not what a man has, but what he thinks of what he has, that matters to Jesus.  There is nothing wrong in having wealth what counts is a person's attitude towards that wealth.  What Jesus condemns is those people – whether they be rich or poor – who chase first after earthly wealth, who make worldly things the goal of their life, who store up for themselves treasures on earth.

Jesus is warning us against making things of this earth into gods and worshiping them.

I read this story a while back and thought it would add a little flavor to this point, on where our treasure is…….

“Cheap Perfume

The story is told of the husband who was on a business trip and decided to buy a gift to bring home to his wife to show her how much he appreciated her.

The lady at the cosmetics counter showed him a bottle of perfume for $75, but the man thought that was a bit expensive. So the clerk pulled out a smaller bottle of the same perfume, which cost only $50.

Again, the man explained that this was a bit expensive. The clerk, trying to conceal her frustration, showed him the smallest bottle available, priced at $20.

The man shook his head and said, “I think I’d like you to show me something really cheap.”

So she reached under the counter and showed him a mirror.”

When you love someone, you should want to give them the best you can. The expense is not as important as whether you are giving to the best of your ability. The way we treat our money, our possessions, others and material things speaks loudly as to what we value and what we are willing to give, and to whom, speaks to whom we value.

Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. If money is your treasure – whether it is cold hard cash or possessions of value to you – then your heart will not be serving God.

To God, a divided loyalty is no loyalty at all.

I’m guessing there are some people who have had or do have divided loyalties. There are some with covetous eyes and treasure consisting of earthly fortune.

Paul put it more positively in his letter to the church in Philippi:

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-- think about such things.  Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me-- put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:8-9, NIV)

When our loyalty is with God, our mind will be set on the true and noble – that which is worthy of praise. When we cultivate a desire for what is right and admirable, that desire will not perish in eternity. And whatever worldly goods we have at our disposal, whether little or plenty, we can invest them in heavenly treasure, using the earthly tools God has given for His glory.

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