Thursday, January 8, 2015
Trading for Treasure in Heaven
Saving money up is "easy." That is in quotes for other people with student debt and the like.
But really, the currency of our world, money included, is constantly being traded, used, and saved up.
Besides handing people paper and coins representative of currency, we talk about beauty as being valuable. We exchange favors. Being "nice" and "agreeable" can earn you a lot of things in life. So can being aggressive. Guilt can be a powerful persuader and a great way to get what you want. Karma is all about the currency of deeds.
What sort of currency do you deal in?
Sinful confession: personally, I tend to like the currency of "getting things done." My feeling accomplished is something I consider valuable and that I think other people can use. I'm willing to trade a lot to get things done- my time, my energy, (cough cough) my husband's time and energy...
If it's on my to-do list, no matter how silly, I'll give up a ton to get it done. Plenty of my friends have probably faced the cost before.
Living in the eternity that began the day I accepted Christ means trading in that currency, though.
As new creations whose citizenship is in heaven (Philippians 3:20), it is wise to trade the currency of this world for the currency of the Lord.
We know, after all, what happens to the things that we save up on earth. Matthew 6:19-20 tells us:
"“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."
Interestingly enough, this verse in context comes after Christ tells people not to give to the needy, pray, or fast, in order to gain attention. Or, "as the hypocrites do," Jesus says. Doing "spiritual" things for worldly gain is just another way of trading God's currency for this world's -which doesn't last. Which dies out. Which is rendered useless in just a few years.
The currency of the Lord is what you lay up heaven. It's your treasure. And, "where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" (Matthew 6:21).
Where is your heart? What deals do you make in your heart, what desires do you trade to fulfill?
Is it with the fruit of the Spirit that you obey the Lord, or with selfish ambition? Do you do your work unto the Lord? Or, are you doing it to get through the circumstances that (it's true whether or not you acknowledge it) God is sovereign over.
Admittedly, trading honesty back in forth in friendship doesn't earn you as many points in this world. Exchanging patience and sacrifices for aggressively accomplishing things doesn't often produce obvious, exciting results. Trusting the Lord to provide instead of trading your skills and your will in for financial security doesn't always seem like it pays off.
But your treasure is in heaven. The currency you trade for when you go to Christ, rely on Him, and crucify your sinful desires and understanding of how to survive this world's economy -that currency is piling up, glorifying Jesus, and keeping you active in God's economy.
His economy is a whole lot more gracious, worthwhile, stable, lasting, and satisfying.
Posted by Bethany McIlrath