I know we’ve talked about it several times, do you have your priorities straight? Are your priorities ensuring satisfaction or are you loving something that makes you need more and never being filled? What’s most important to you?
Priorities: What’s your treasure? Where’s your treasure?
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.Matthew 6:21 (NIV), Luke 12:34 (NIV)
When our focus is on the temporary, on the earthly, we find ourselves never filled and with stuff that won’t last!
19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.20But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.Matthew 6 | NIV Bible
Earthly stuff isn’t going to fill the God shaped hole in your heart:
In the pursuit of happiness and fulfillment, many of us often find ourselves chasing after earthly treasures and materialistic desires. However, as followers of Christ, we are called to recognize that the true satisfaction of our hearts comes from a deeper source. Let’s explore the biblical perspective on why earthly pursuits fall short and how embracing Jesus as Lord and Savior fills the God-shaped hole within us.
Priorities: Earthly Treasures vs. Heavenly Treasures (Matthew 6:19-21):
"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
Earthly treasures are fleeting and vulnerable, while treasures in heaven (a relationship with God through Jesus) provide lasting fulfillment.
Shift your focus from accumulating material possessions to building a relationship with God, investing in eternal treasures.
The Prodigal Son’s Journey (Luke 15:11-32):
"But when he came to himself, he said, 'How many of my father's hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you."
The pursuit of worldly pleasures may lead to temporary satisfaction, but true fulfillment is found in returning to the Father’s embrace.
Recognize the emptiness in worldly pursuits and turn back to God, who welcomes us with open arms and provides genuine fulfillment.
The God-Shaped Hole (Ecclesiastes 3:11):
"He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end."
God has placed a longing for eternity within our hearts, and earthly pursuits cannot satisfy this deep spiritual need.
Acknowledge the innate desire for something eternal and seek a relationship with God through Jesus to fill the God-shaped hole.
Priorities: Hope and Faith in Jesus (Jeremiah 29:11, Romans 5:1-2):
"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." (Jeremiah 29:11)
"Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him, we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God." (Romans 5:1-2)
True hope and faith come from trusting in God’s purpose for our lives through a relationship with Jesus.
Embrace the hope and peace that faith in Jesus brings, knowing that God’s plans are for our welfare and future.
Priorities: The Invitation to Receive Jesus (Revelation 3:20):
"Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me."
Receiving Jesus is a personal choice that opens the door to a fulfilling relationship with Him.
Respond to the invitation of Jesus, allowing Him to enter your life and fill the God-shaped hole with His presence, bringing joy and completeness.
In the journey of life, let us prioritize treasures that endure, return to the Father’s love, acknowledge the God-shaped hole within, find hope and faith in Jesus, and respond to His invitation. In doing so, we discover the true fulfillment that transcends earthly pursuits, embracing a life marked by purpose, joy, and eternal significance.
Topic: BACKPACK LIVING
Verse: Ecclesiastes 5:10
Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This too is meaningless.
Firstly, let’s be the dads who remember that the love of money is the root of all evil and as such look to God rather than feeling like we lack because of the love of money never being enough. Secondly, let’s be the dads who are looking to store up our treasures in heaven because we know from God’s Word that whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. Thirdly, let’s be the dads who are choosing to live lives of meaning for the glory of God that will enable us to be the dads who our wives and kids need us to be.
Priorities around what baggage do you really need to be carrying with you:
Today’s Devotional uses the analogy of traveling and a backpack. It speaks to the pressures of even how “the extra fees” charged “if we want to take our suitcase with us on vacation; more people are learning to take less.” How about you in your daily life, how much baggage are you carrying with you? Today’s Devotional even comments on how “traveling with a half-empty backpack is a liberating adventure.”
Life Application and how priorities around stuff matters:
Today’s Devotional brings us to an analogy of life and how this principle is true. “The more we acquire, the more we have to take care of. Everything requires attention and maintenance. Costs increase. An escalating lifestyle brings accelerating pressure. Pretty soon our possessions possess us.”
Jesus teaches and warns us against having wrong priorities aligned to the above:
- Matthew 6:19-21 (ESV):
- “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
- Explanation: This passage emphasizes the transient nature of earthly treasures and the potential for them to be lost or destroyed. It encourages believers to focus on treasures in heaven, which are eternal.
- Luke 12:15 (ESV):
- “And he said to them, ‘Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.'”
- Explanation: Jesus warns against the trap of covetousness and the misconception that life is defined by the abundance of possessions. This verse underscores the importance of spiritual and relational aspects over material wealth.
- Proverbs 23:4-5 (ESV):
- “Do not toil to acquire wealth; be discerning enough to desist. When your eyes light on it, it is gone, for suddenly it sprouts wings, flying like an eagle toward heaven.”
- Explanation: This Proverb advises against excessive toil for wealth, highlighting the fleeting nature of material possessions. The imagery of wealth sprouting wings emphasizes its ability to vanish quickly.
- 1 Timothy 6:9-10 (ESV):
- “But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.”
- Explanation: The pursuit of wealth is cautioned against, as it can lead to harmful desires and divert individuals from faith. The love of money is identified as a root cause of various problems.
- Ecclesiastes 5:10 (ESV):
- “He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity.”
- Explanation: Ecclesiastes emphasizes the insatiable nature of the love of money. It teaches that the pursuit of wealth for its own sake does not lead to true satisfaction.
These scriptures collectively reinforce the idea that an excessive focus on acquiring possessions can lead to increased pressure, anxiety, and a misplaced sense of fulfillment. The Bible encourages believers to have priorities spiritual and eternal values over the accumulation of material wealth.
How to avoid the drawbacks of wrong priorities:
Today’s Devotional recommends that instead of “our possessions possessing us” that we be “upwardly mobile, by deliberately downsizing. Constantly decluttering. Pour our money into eternal investments and live simply.”
Solomon speaks to how material possessions don’t deliver satisfaction:
4I undertook great projects: I built houses for myself and planted vineyards. 5I made gardens and parks and planted all kinds of fruit trees in them. 6I made reservoirs to water groves of flourishing trees. 7I bought male and female slaves and had other slaves who were born in my house. I also owned more herds and flocks than anyone in Jerusalem before me. 8I amassed silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces. I acquired male and female singers, and a harem as well—the delights of a man’s heart. 9I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem before me. In all this my wisdom stayed with me.from Ecclesiastes 2
10I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my labor, and this was the reward for all my toil. 11Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.
Today’s Devotional shares how “Solomon admits that he found little lasting satisfaction in his houses, vineyards, orchards, servants, herds, tools, toys, and treasure” as see in Ecclesiastes 2 above. Continuing to read in Ecclesiastes 2:24-25 we see that he provides us where he did find real joy, “the simplest acts of eating, drinking, and working hard.”
A person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their own toil. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment?
Today’s Devotional closes with this suggestion: “For a better trip, throw a Bible in your backpack and travel light.”
We are traveling on with our staff in hand….
We are pilgrims bound for the heavenly land.FANNY CROSBY