Study from God’s Word… Luke 11: 37 - 13: 17 … Passage for Reflection: Luke 12: 32-34 … NIV [Jesus] 32"Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. 33Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
My Journal for Today: Ever hear the phrase, “... He wears his heart on his sleeve,” describing someone who easily and readily displays his emotions by his actions? Sure you have; but when it comes to our use of God’s providence (i.e., our finances), the issue Jesus strongly (and uncomfortably) points out in today’s reading is that we wear our spiritual heart on our sleeves when it comes to what we hold on to and what we do with God’s resources.
When we read Jesus’ exhortation, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also,...” does that resonate with our sensibilities? What about if we turn that challenge around and say, “For where our heart is, there your treasure will be also?” >>> OUCH!!!
You know, it’s been said that if you want to know if someone is really a Christian, look at two things: ... his calendar and his bank statement [i.e., checkbook, credit-card statement, and/or online banking statement]. And there is much convicting truth to that, isn’t there? The former shows how we’re using God-given time [and to some degree our talents]; and the latter exhibits how we’re using God’s treasure.
And as I’m reading today’s passages, mostly Jesus speaking to the Pharisees and those who were following Him around the countryside (at the time of the Sermon on the Mount), His words challenge me to look at my own financial decision making, which reflects my heart as a Christian. And I’m at the very least uncomfortable and maybe more accurately convicted to realize that I still hold pretty tightly to MY money. Even calling it “MY money,” if I were to do so (which, in this case I don’t) would tell someone where my heart would be, ... wouldn’t it? Because it’s not MY money, ... is it? It’s God’s - all of it; and ALL should be used for His glory, ... shouldn’t it?
Dr. Smith writes for those of us reading here today: ”How glibly we speak of ‘disposable income,’ the money we have left over after paying out for rent or mortgages, utilities, groceries, and other ‘necessary’ items. What part of that ‘disposable income’ goes to meet the needs of the poor, instead of expensive vacations, big-boy toys, and fashion items?” >>> Again ... ouch!!!
This hurts! But the question will be - at least for me - what am I going to do with this pain of conviction I’m feeling here this morning? Will I change the way I use GOD’S resources (i.e., HIS time, talent, and treasures); or will I continue to wear a self-driven heart on my sleeve for all to see. My choice; isn’t it? ... Yes, my choice!
My Prayer for Today: Lord, help me to find and display YOUR heart by the way I use YOUR bounty. Amen