By Josh McCoy
The material possessions we hold so closely in this world are fragile and fleeting. They were never meant to sustain the deepest passions, affections, and desires of our hearts. In Matthew 6:19-24, Jesus calls his followers to adopt a new perspective on the treasures of this world, whether they are wealth, money, status, power, relationships…. Jesus is not demonizing money or power as the ultimate evils in this world. In fact, when these things are used properly, they can be a blessing to many. However, any object, idea, or person that becomes the main fixture of an individual’s life instead of Christ is idolatry. Human beings were made to worship, and we become like the objects we worship. If we worship money and place our hope for the future in it, then we will become shallow, volatile, and insecure people. However, Jesus offers a firm foundation for his followers, with which they can build their lives and their futures on (Matthew 7:24-27). By placing our hope in Christ, we can become more like Christ and find true love, joy, and security.
Where is my treasure?
In The Weight of Glory, C. S. Lewis says, “It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” In Jesus, Christians have a divine relationship with the Creator of the Universe. Nonetheless, as Lewis says, we are far too easily pleased, and we set our hearts on foolish things seeking to be satisfied and fulfilled. When we start to see Christ for the loving, trustworthy, compassionate, and dependable Savior that he is, this dramatically changes our lives and worldview. In Riccardo’s sermon on this passage, he mentioned a story of a time when he accidently bumped into a blind man and knocked him over. The irony of this situation is that the blind man ended up helping him up. The man who could not see was helping the man who could see. In our lives, are we pressing into the vision that the Lord has given us for what we value and treasure? Or have the things of this world blinded our eyes? When we start to honestly ask these questions, we can redirect our hearts and minds towards God in new and life giving ways.
Comfort and the Gospel
In America, we love comfort—though comfort is not a bad thing in and of itself. However, when our comfort is confronted with the mission of the cross, we have a decision to make. Jesus modeled a life of sacrifice, care, and compassion. He left heaven to enter into his creation, which was messy, sinful, and broken. Instead of claiming his royal rights as the Son of God, he became the son of a carpenter. Jesus creates an upside down kingdom that is foreign to many of us. The fullest life is found in Christ, and Jesus delivers on this promise (John 10:10). Jesus never promises that our lives will be free from trials or difficulties (John 15:20). However, he does promise to be with us through them (Hebrews 13:5).
When we survey the brokenness and sin in our own lives, what are the people or situations God is calling us to enter into? If nothing immediately comes to mind, prayerfully asking God about this may be helpful. As Christians and through the power of the gospel, we can provide real hope and healing in a broken world. We can enjoy God’s creation knowing that ultimately everything flows from the hand of God. Nonetheless, the creation is not greater than the Creator. When Jesus is the centerpiece that everything in our lives is oriented around, we gain real perspective on where our treasures—and ultimately where our hearts—are.
So where are your treasures? God may call you to a season of uncomfortable living in order to grow your affections for Him. God may reveal an idol in order to free your heart from bondage to a false savior. God works in many different ways and means. Regardless of the way in which he works, he is working for the good of the believer (Romans 8:28). And God is the only one capable of holding the deepest desires, passions, and affections of your heart.