Earthly Treasure

41 posts

Giving to yourself – not cool!

Giving gifts to yourself is a dangerous activity. No, I am not talking about the present under the tree that is labeled from you to you. I am talking about the gifts you give to others that are really meant for you. Let me explain. For example, giving a gift to someone for the pleasure of seeing how much you are appreciated. You are feeling under-appreciated by your daughter. You find a gift you think will please her and tip the scales back in your favor. This is where things get murky. You spent money on something you really couldn’t afford so that she would think you are wonderful. But she doesn’t think the gift is all that great! So […]

A December Prayer

Dear Father, grant that I would be blown away by the gift of your son to me. Grant that this season of “gift-giving” would not blind the eyes of my heart from the one gift that matters. If not for the gospel, all gifts would be nothing more than bribes and tokens of appeasement. If not for the gospel, there would be no selflessness. If not for the gospel, I would only give to get. If not for the gospel, I would obsess on what I think I deserve and despair over what I do not have. Father, I ask that your church would love the gospel message so much that we would become salt and light to those around […]

A Tale of Two Young Men

This is a short story of two young men with two radically different views of the same treasure. One thought he could not live without the treasure and one who knew could not live with it. This is the choice is still relevant: should you live for what you can see or for what you can’t see? Moses, as a young man, was offered all the treasures of ancient Egypt. They were the best his world had to offer. Power, possessions, prestige — they were all his. All he had to do was be passive and enjoy the providential circumstances that were literally dropped in his lap. But he said no to all of that. Instead, he believed disgrace for […]

What Captures your Heart?

What is it that captures your heart? What matters more than anything else? Whether you are conscious of it or not, these questions drive both you and your children. Jesus graciously leads us into this discussion in Matthew 13:44: The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. This man found a treasure. He quickly buried it again hoping no one noticed. Filled with joy, he went off and sold everything so that he could buy the field and possess the treasure. He did not sell all out of a sense of obligation. Can you […]

A fatal attraction

Luke tells the story about how the early Christians were caring for each other’s needs. He specifically mentions a Cypriot Levite named Joseph who sold a field and brought the money from the sale to the apostles. Joseph’s gift and example was such a blessing that the apostles called him Barnabas, which means “son of encouragement.” This was a good thing. There was a married couple who apparently observed Barnabas’ good deed and the appreciation he received for it. So they sold some property that they owned. But something happened to these two when they collected the money from the sale. While we can’t be exactly sure of their thoughts, Luke does tell us about the plan that they conceived, […]

Wisdom: The Better Choice

The Holy Spirit has this radically shocking idea that it is better to acquire wisdom than gold. Solomon is not saying that it is wrong to have precious metals. He is simply saying that without wisdom, gold and silver will lead to evil and a destructive life! Here is how Solomon talks about the value of wisdom over gold in Proverbs 16:16-17: How much better to get wisdom than gold, to choose understanding rather than silver! The highway of the upright avoids evil; he who guards his way guards his life. These two verses are designed to be taken together. Verse 16 openly states the value of wisdom over gold and silver. Then verse 17 shows the true value of […]

Let not your heart be troubled

Heaven is the hope of troubled hearts. John recorded these words of your Savior to remind you of the wonder of heaven: “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.” Heaven is the gift that makes sense of life. Without heaven, life makes no sense. It is a gift that cannot […]

A clothing makeover for a New Year

2018 is just hours into its existence. Talk of resolutions for the coming year is everywhere. This new year, why not forget about resolutions and go for a clothing makeover! Don’t worry, this new set of clothes won’t break the bank. In fact, it won’t cost you anything, except your pride! What store offers this kind of makeover? This makeover is not about physical clothing. These new clothes are fashioned by the Holy Spirit. Putting them on will change the way people look at you and make you a more attractive person! They will do more to enhance your appearance to others than any piece of material clothing could ever do. They will never go out of style or wear […]

A prayer for December

Dear Father, it’s busy in my life. Crowds are everywhere. My heart is busy, too many gifts, not enough money, not enough time. This month is supposed to be about Jesus. But even at church I feel more busy than thankful for his birth. There are people to see, events to attend. All of this is supposed to be about Jesus, but it feels more and more like it’s all about me. Jesus came to bring peace, but my life is full of stress. It’s too busy in my life. Father, please fill my heart with the wonder of your mercy. I ask for your Spirit’s comfort to know that in your Son I have all that I need. Overwhelm […]

The First Shall Be Last

This is a short story of two young men with two radically different views of the same treasure. One thought he could not live without the treasure and one who knew could not live with it. This is the choice your teenagers face: should they live for what they can see or for what they can’t see? Moses, as a young man, was offered all the treasures of ancient Egypt. They were the best his world had to offer. Power, possessions, prestige — they were all his. All he had to do was be passive and enjoy the providential circumstances that were literally dropped in his lap. But he said no to all of that. Instead he chose disgrace for […]