In Jesus’s own word, there is a relationship between the pursuit of money, and the mindset or dependence of the individual. As a center of focus, ‘Treasure’ was used here to mark the importance or the center of our importance. Often, treasures are cherished acquisitions that an individual may have. The relationship between material possessions and the owner, defines the very heart of a person, or actually the source of the wealth. The bible clearly says that “Every good and perfect gift comes from God, …” (James 1:17) The big question remains, ‘Where is your heart”?
The difference between Christianity and religion is simple: Christianity is following the teachings and examples of Jesus Christ. On the other hand, religion is serving god. Here, the mystery lies in the individual person. A god is anything one puts his trust in. Anything outside the worship of the one true creator, God, is idol worship. Our world today is filled with all kinds of religious practices. The boldness of occults as religious bodies are growing rampant! Many are forsaking God for trivial materialistic chunks. And Christ asked, “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world, but lose his soul” (Mark 8:36 ).
Is there anything in your life you are so anxious for? Any rank, position, title… anything at all? Is there anything that can make you see God as an incapable, slow, unfaithful or unloving God? Is there anything you put before God, His word or commandments? Finally, is there anything you can not give to God at His request? These are your treasures. If you deny God these things, you have identified your idol. Idolatry is regarded as a sin that destroys, and in the end, God fights anything that takes His position. Can you relate to this? Do you know anyone so rich, but today, can not afford anything? Or anyone with all the riches, but can not help others? They have gained the world to lose their soul!
Trusting God with our wealth does not mean that we cease to be rich. It simply means having a secured resource, a heavenly account (Philippians 4). Hoarding, hiding, robbing God invites curses, accidents, destroyers that fights for God. God is supreme. His words do not await man’s approval. Our living in obedience releases the manifestations. “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. (Joshua 1:8). Our prosperity and success depends on us. Obey and succeed or disobey and suffer!
“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and Mammon” (Matthew 6:24). While you strive for a life of your desire, remember who your enemy is. Satan is his name, and God described him as “The most subtle of His creations” (Genesis 3:1). Whenever you are about to reach a decision, remember God’s word. Hold on to it and use it to test and measure every other word that comes you way. Due to the craftiness of the enemy, deviating from God and His word results in mishaps, loss and pains.
Pagans ignore God and His instructions. Many Christians as well ignore scriptural instructions. Material wealth is good only if it glorifies the God that actually created the wealth. When our focus is shifted away from God due to wealth and the pursuit of other material empires, doom is around the corner. Jesus said, “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”. (Matthew 6:19, 20 NIV). Essentially, this translates to the only successful rich man is the one at death that finds his/ her way to heaven. Where is your treasure?
I will teach you what my wife taught me. She said to me, “Honey, working hard does not provide everything but working smart”. For years, I did not get it, but when I did, it worked. This is the whole point of Joshua 1:8!!! There is no point in pursuing what you will not keep. God is the owner, maker and custodian of everything. Without Him, we are futile in all our endeavors. Grief, worry and sickness will increase, but the moment we become smart, wise, obedient and humble, it will all work itself out!
My conclusion is this, “…, Why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew 6:19, 20, 28-34 NIV).
This is not a blank check for laziness. It did not suggest that a man should not work or earn a living. It means that we need to let God lead us. A lazy man should not eat!
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