SITTING ON HIS HAUNCHES, tail twitching, Mr. Squirrel stuffed his cheeks with an acorn held strategically between his reddish-brown paws. Once full, he scampered across the yard and up the nearest oak. Within seconds, he scurried back down to search the ground around the base of the tree for his next treasure. His unending quest for food kept me entertained for the next several minutes.
While watching Mr. Squirrel, I marveled at the instinct God gave him. When winter approaches, this bushy-tailed rodent fills his day scavenging for nuts and other goodies. He works and works, never seeming to tire. His goal? To store up enough food to last him all winter. Nuts become his treasures. Nourishment through cold harsh days becomes life-sustaining.
Much like Mr. Squirrel, we gather up treasures, too. We work hard day in and day out. We scurry from one place to another in search of our next prize. Our quest for the next treasure never ends. Yet, do we have our priorities straight? Are the treasures we work so hard to obtain permanent? Are they life-sustaining?
Jesus warns us in Matthew 6:19-21 not to store up treasures on earth where moth and rust can destroy, but to store up treasures in heaven. Many people work hard for material things like cars, expensive homes, vacations, jewelry, clothes…you name it. Our society encourages us to pamper ourselves. Put “me” first. Yet, when our life is over, these things cannot come with us to the next life. The items that consumed so much of our time and energy are left behind. When we arrive on the other side of this life, what will we have that will be life-sustaining?
According to the website www.gotquestions.org, the Bible teaches us “we are to treasure the Lord Jesus most of all. When Jesus is our treasure, we will commit our resources—our money, our time, our talents—to His work in this world. Our motivation for what we do is important (1 Corinthians 10:31). Paul encourages servants that God has an eternal reward for those who are motivated to serve Christ: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving” (Colossians 3:23–24).
There are many places in the Bible where we are instructed to serve others, give up wealth, turn our focus toward honoring God. Let’s begin today to consider our attitude. Let’s determine in our hearts to serve God first, help others next, and take our focus off of ourselves. Like Mr. Squirrel, let us spend our time storing up treasures that are life-sustaining.
“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. (Matthew 6:19-21, NIV)
Prayer: Oh Gracious Heavenly Father, as we approach the Christmas season especially, where material possessions are flaunted and hammered into our minds by the media, please help us to keep our eyes focused heavenward where our treasures are eternal. Let us seek Your life-sustaining rewards; the rewards that will carry us from this life into Your awaiting arms. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
Photo courtesy of Morguefile and ferguweb. http://www.gotquestions.org/treasures-in-heaven.html