I recently gave a reflection in a family service on this verse from the scripture Matthew 6:19-21.
"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
These verses are an account near the end of the chat Jesus was having with those who were following him, about healthy attitudes to a of life issues. In these verses he talks about our treasure and our heart.
I started by asking people if they knew where their heart was …well several keen pre-schoolers came confidently to the front and one put her hands on her head and said “it here” another put her hands somewhere in the middle of her body “no its not…it is here” all the adults had put their right hand across to their left chest and I smiled as it looked as though they were about to swear allegiance to something. We collectively thought about the fact that we often say “I have a heart for…..” fill the blank as you will. I then asked what is that heart passion driven by? perhaps the children are right is it driven by you decisions? Or by gut reactions? Or by duty and allegiance to someone or something?
The next question to ask is what do you treasure? We often think of treasure as finances or possessions and of course it can be both of these, sometimes it can be status or friendships, what we do and who we are. I remember putting aside some baby clothes so I could lend them to friends in the future. Among them was a sweet little hand knitted blue sweeter. When I went to get it out to pass on, I found it had been eaten by moths; I was stung with disappointment. The disappointment was not totally held in the item but what its loss represented. It was a graphic analogy of the result of the world’s brokenness on our earthly treasures we store up.
In contrast I remember my father telling me about a much more significant loss that happened to his family when he was young. His family lived above the shop that they owned and managed, it was a typical country corner store. I don’t remember the details of how the fire started but I remember as a young girl feeling so sad to hear that my dad’s family lost everything other than the clothes on their backs. I could not imagine what losing everything would mean to me, I treasured my toys and the house we lived in and our pet cat. My father taught me what he had learned from that time of lose; people are more precious than possessions. Of course people also live in a world of brokenness where bodies’ age and good intentions can get rusty. Both my Father and I would later learn of the greatest treasure and give our hearts to God.
Although we may think we follow our hearts in fact Jesus speaks a truth that will change the way we live. Where our treasure is, that is where our hearts will be also. Our heart follows where our treasure is, not the other way around. Our greatest treasure is Jesus and our heart can follow Him. But if I am honest I have to go back and look over my week and ask where did I place my treasure? Was it in Jesus, has my heart followed after my Lord? My time and resources and all God has given me in gifting and the resources of heaven forgiveness, love, mercy, have I lived with the generosity of heaven knowing God also treasures me as I am in Christ.
Kath - One of Gods girls . Co-senior pastor of Northridge Vineyard Church in Thornleigh, Sydney with husband Phil. Mum to Beth (Mother love to Beth's husband Sean) and Sam. South Pacific Regional Co-ordinator for Tirzah International (Investing in Women - Changing the World) Community Chaplain for Karios Outside (a ministry to women who have been impacted by a significant others imprisonment). Speaker and Writer.