Treasures in Heaven
19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
As we end one year and begin another, I challenge you to not make resolutions or promises. That’s right. Do not start with a list of things you would like to do differently this year. Instead determine your focus. Instead of actions you may want to change, consider your mind and it’s preoccupations, wanderings, concerns, etc. Think about your mental focus and where you would like it to be for the coming year. This may lead you to thinking about your job and how you need to put more energy into planning or forecasting. Maybe it leads you to thinking about your family and how you should focus on your love for them. Perhaps you realize you need to spend more time mentally focused on gratitude. All of these would be great endeavors. But don’t do any of them.
Instead, focus on one thing this year. One. The One. If you make one commitment – to focus purely on God in your prayer time, your free time, and your down time; all other things that need your attention will follow. Jesus tells us in this passage, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” This is one of the most important nuggets of wisdom for Jesus. It sums up a lot. For whatever gets your mind’s focus - money, family, success, or worry, your heart will follow. The amazing thing about focusing on God alone is that God and God’s love for you encompass all parts of your life. So when you put the spotlight on God, that light reflects right back out to you and those around you.
So how can you focus on God this year?
• Devote the first 15 minutes of your day to prayer and reflection about God and God’s ways.
• Spend 5 minutes at some point in your day, just sitting quietly. Set a timer and let your mind rest from all the thought. If ideas, tasks and thoughts begin to enter your mind, simply let them pass and refocus on the one word, God, or Creator, or Love, or peace.
• Throughout your day, ask God to guide your thoughts, words and actions. Think about how you will do your work, relate to friends, and interact with family through the lens of God. How would God guide you in these daily tasks? How is God directing you in this situation?
• In essence, pray about everything! Even the small stuff!
Any time you begin to worry or fret over something, remind yourself that God is good, God is with you, and God is for you. Leave a few reminder notes in conspicuous places to help you keep your focus on God. As your focus remains on God, your heart will grow with love for God and others. This is what it means to be a disciple.
Dear Lord, Don’t let me become so familiar with the Christmas story that it doesn’t still move me to worship and praise. Remind me to treasure the gift of Immanuel, God with us. Help me to be more than just a spectator to the birth of Christ, and allow me to participate with you in your story! Guide me to share in the awe and wonder of the nativity and let me worship Christ at his holy manger today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version ® NIV ®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2014 by Biblica, Inc.®. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.