Life does not consist in an abundance of possessions. Luke 12:15
Kevin walked into the nursing facility after his dad passed away to pick up his belongings. The staff handed him two small boxes. He said he realized that day that it really didn’t take an abundance of possessions to be happy.
His dad, Larry, had been carefree and always ready with a smile and an encouraging word for others. The reason for his happiness was another “possession” that didn’t fit into a box: an unshakable faith in his Redeemer, Jesus.
Jesus urges us to “store up . . . treasures in heaven” (Matthew 6:20). He didn’t say we couldn’t own a home or buy a car or save for the future or have numerous possessions. But He urged us to examine the focus of our hearts. Where was Larry’s focus? His heart was set on loving God by loving others. He would wander up and down the halls where he lived, greeting and encouraging those he met. If someone was in tears, he was there with a comforting word or listening ear or heartfelt prayer. His mind was focused on living for God’s honor and the good of others.
We might want to ask ourselves if we could be happy with fewer things that clutter and distract us from the more important matters of loving God and others. “Where [our] treasure is, there [our] heart will be also” (v. 21). What we value is reflected in how we live.
Are there ways in which your priorities are out of order? What changes do you think God might want you to make?
I love You, dear God, and want You as my greatest love. Show me how I can become more like You.
In Matthew 6:19–24, Jesus teaches His disciples by using comparison. By comparing earthly treasures with heavenly treasures, He shows that what we cherish exposes our hearts. “Treasures in heaven” (v. 20) most likely refers to spiritual wealth. Bible commentator Craig Blomberg suggests it’s “the compassionate use of material resources to meet others’ physical and spiritual needs.”
In comparing good and bad eyes (vv. 22–23), Jesus is telling His listeners that what they focus on will fill their hearts. These examples lead to the comparison of two masters—God and money (v. 24). The word serve is key to understanding this verse. Serve is related to the term doulos, which refers to a slave rather than an employee. Jesus is saying that a slave’s loyalty is undivided. That’s the kind of undivided devotion Jesus calls His followers to—a “hatred” of anything that distracts from devotion to Him (see Matthew 10:34–39; 12:30; Luke 14:26).