Contributors to this passage
This passage has been on my mind now for many days and yet, I still feel God wants to tell me something more through it.
I am particularly attracted to the last portion, "For where your treasure is, there your heart will also be"....I find that He is helping me more & more to understand what His treasures are and if I could see the "spiritual value" of my actions, everyday I'd be accumulating treasures up in heaven...I ask myself at the beginning and end of everyday, 'what have I done today that has been of eternal value and is treasure in God's eyes?'.....so does that mean that I know I'm doing okay when I have managed to find the right balance between earthly materials ('treasures') and heavenly treasures? Or are earthly treasures just a perspective or a way of looking at things....Or is it that in the first place to begin with, there should be nothing on earth which may constitute a treasure in our eyes that we should reduce it to merely being temporary posessions - ideally, that would be the way, huh?
God continues to amaze me with the way He wants me to look at things, career, car, everything like Kevin says are to be secondary to Him of course...but looking at my life, I cannot say that I have applied this at all times....yes, i have applied it but on a more convenient and lackadaisical basis according to the demands of my schedules ( which in fact, contribute to earthly gains most of the time )....so I guess its just a matter of priority now...The problem is, even if I give a portion of my time, etc to Him, I never seem to be able to give enough, even where I am at spiritual peaks so to say, so I always end up feeling guilty about not spending enough time with Him, does anyone else struggle with this or is it just me?...
"even if I give a portion of my time, etc to Him, I never seem to be able to give enough, even where I am at spiritual peaks so to say, so I always end up feeling guilty about not spending enough time with Him"
If I were to measure what I give to Him in hours and minutes and seconds, I would fail the "test of time"? I think it is not the quantity that you do that's important but the quality of it. I can go to church on a Sunday morning and not listen, pay attention or reflect. In measure of time it would be an hour and a half of my time. But in measure of God's eyes, it would be nothing.
Matthew 6:21 is so aptly put because it covers everything. For instance, if I attended church with my mind elsewhere, my treasure would be where my mind is, hence, my heart would also there, instead of in church worshipping Him.
Time is a poor measure of what we give to him so long as what we give is poor in quality. Just like you can have a giant rock, but it would never be as valuable as a tiny diamond. Quantity doesn't mean better. But also quality means different things for different people. What is worth a lot to one person may be nothing in comparison to another. Just like the poor widow who gave two mites to the treasury in Mark 12:41-44, Luke 21:1-4. To the rich who gave a lot of money, it wasn't worth as much because they already had more money than they needed. But for this poor lady, two mites was all she had ? that was what made it valuable. If you must measure the time you give to Him, you must compare it to yourself. I don't think we should set some arbitrary amount of time that we deem we ought to spend.
Mar 12:41 And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. Mar 12:42 And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. Mar 12:43 And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: Mar 12:44 For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.
Luk 21:1 And he looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury. Luk 21:2 And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites. Luk 21:3 And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all: Luk 21:4 For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had.
"These things take up so much time and space of my 'thought life' ? there is always the justification that it is normal to pursue such things in life ? the balance that I have held myself to believe to be okay in God's eyes is actually not okay at all."
I guess I would say I am also guilty for spending too much time building up earthly treasures. Half the time I am striving for this elusive career path so much so that my boss akin my struggle to the aggressive growth plans we have been working on for our respective businesses in the company. He's sad to see that my accelerated growth plans seem to be leading me straight out of the company door. Sometimes I feel reluctant to let go of these things because it feels safe. Perhaps that doesn't really describe it properly, but I feel more control when I'm going after these things.
...The problem is, even if I give a portion of my time, etc to Him, I never seem to be able to give enough, even where I am at spiritual peaks so to say, so I always end up feeling guilty about not spending enough time with Him, does anyone else struggle with this or is it just me?...
It is interesting how you relate "time" as your offering to God here. So as i understand, the treasure you wish to accumulate in heaven is the very thing you treasure here on earth!
Yes, at times i do feel that whatever i do, it may never measure up in comparison to the unconditional love He gives me. That comes from recognising how i am a sinner. But you and i testify that God still accepts us as we are! He loves us as a father loves his son/daughter no matter what- otherwise, we both become the most condemned people!
So while there is good in learning to "prioritise" how we spend time, i really feel that God never tells us what we give is not enough (except in matters of tithing). He does not tell us "give 500 bucks to 5 shelter homes, pray 7 times a day, fast 10 days", instead He tells us "give/treasure"...and when the act of giving comes from the heart, without pretence, i like to believe that we needn't be engrossed with the quantifiable amount of how much we offer to God.
And i know even then, the "spiritual peaks" and "lows" would have very minimal impact because what we really want to achieve is a state where i can maintain a continual growth. And as a result of continual growth, what i choose to treasure in heaven would be amounted in a qualitative manner i.e what flows from the heart...and in return, in hope to find that's where my heart is and will belong...heaven.
Just picking up the comment "if I give a portion of my time, etc to Him, I never seem to be able to give enough" - when you give your time to Him, what do you do in that time? Your answer is "spending enough time with Him". Is that what it means to "give your time to Him"?
Back to the question of "what is treasure in heaven"? Hopefully as the meditations progress we will have a clearer picture. But just one point: the idea of balance, as in "find the right balance between earthly materials ('treasures') and heavenly treasures" is misleading. I do not think that Jesus is at all calling for balance here.
Thanks for the response, TCFS, it was helpful. Spending time with Him at His pace and with His guidance has enabled me to gain peace of mind.
As for my concluding meditation on 'storing up treasures', drawing on Kevin's last comment on treasures in heaven as - "Put God first in my life". The more I continue to read on and before Dueteronomy 6, I see and understand that He is a very jealous God, and idolatry is prevalent is many aspects of my life, for instance :-
These things take up so much time and space of my 'thought life'. I never really saw the seriousness that God places on these matters until I read Dueteronomy and continue to read on. Well, then there is always the justification that it is normal to pursue such things in life, but for me, the balance that I have held myself to believe to be okay in God's eyes is actually not okay at all.
Now, the picture of earthly treasures ( and idols, if I might add ) becomes clearer & similarly, the clarity of heavenly treasures shines - to walk daily with the Spirit's guidance and to be obedient in all ways, trusting that each step/decision I make will be my treasure, being stored up in the heavens.