Tuesday, March 3, 2015

100 Days on Jesus’ Sermon Mount (Day 52)

Jesus said, “Instead [of hoarding valuables on Earth] hoard up for yourselves valuables in heaven, where neither moths nor eating by insects ruin them and where thieves neither force an entry nor steal.”
— Matthew 6:20 (USC)
Eternity is in the heart of the person who holds everything not of God lightly.
There are two words of cogently salubrious meaning in the above translation: “hoard” and “valuable.”
When we hoard, we gather and retain what we are stockpiling with a single-minded ardour that is buoyed by the heart’s flaming passion. Something is driving us to hoard. We are convinced of the value of what it is we are reserving as a cache.
Jesus is getting to the clincher of his teaching in the very next verse: whatever we hold as valuable will represent where our hearts are at.
If we value those ‘possessions’ of the Kingdom of heaven, we will hoard everything that Jesus says, and, most definitely, we will follow him. But if our hearts are still held on a retainer by a thing (or things) from this world — because we value them — then we cannot have what God implores us for our own good to seek.
Until our hearts are truly won to the Lord Jesus we may miss the point.
That was my life for twelve years with hard labour. I hoarded the wrong things because my heart was still retained by the world. Covetous thoughts of position, power, possessions, and prestige, and their enabling, were where my diligence was directed. I gathered what so many people gather in this world — things of silly value — when I could have been gathering up a more beautiful set of possessions: relationships, restraint, receptiveness, and renewal.
But the very best thing occurred when my world was turned upside down, and I lost all those ‘valuables’ of the world. Overnight — actually, over a period of months — I came to be convinced of the value in spiritual things; I became enamoured of them and would then hoard them. I still do. Nothing can convince me otherwise; what is seen is passing away, yet what is unseen is eternal (2 Corinthians 4:16-18).
We hoard the things we value. There is folly in valuing worldly things, whereas we cannot hoard enough of the blessings of heaven.
The hoarding of spiritual valuables is not like saving up for a rainy day. God rewards us even as we hoard through learning, growing, and being blessed every day.
1.     What has a hold on your life that many people feel is of value, but you are now doubting has any value at all?
2.     What are some of the possible examples of valuables in heaven that you might hoard, within your context, in order to enjoy spiritual fruit now?
© 2015 S. J. Wickham.
Note: USC version is Under the Southern Cross, The New Testament in Australian English (2014). This translation was painstakingly developed by Dr. Richard Moore, a NT Greek scholar, over nearly thirty years.

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