Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Earthly Treasures

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
–Mt 6:19-21

People ought not to love the world or the things of the world.  If we love the world the love of the Father is not with us.  For all that’s in the world – the desires of the flesh, the desires of the eyes, and pride in possessions aren’t from the Father, but is of the world.  The world is passing away along with its desires, but doing the will of God we abide forever (1 Jn 2:15-17).  Dada Vaswani (b. 1918), an Indian spiritual leader said, “Happiness, true happiness is an inner quality.  It is a state of mind.  If your mind is at peace, you are happy.  If your mind is at peace and you have nothing else, you can be happy.  If you have everything the world can give – pleasure, possessions, power – but lack peace of mind, you can never be happy.”  1 Timothy 6:10 states that the love of money is the root of all sorts of evil and further explains through this craving people have wandered away from the faith, piercing themselves with many pangs.

Service & Joy

Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948), an Indian Independence leader wrote, “Service which is rendered without joy helps neither the servant nor the served.  But all other pleasures and possessions pale into nothingness before service which is rendered in the spirit of joy.”  It’s wise therefore to lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely to us, to run with endurance the race set before us (Heb 12:1).  As John Locke (1632–1704), an English philosopher noted, “All mankind … being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty or possessions.”

The Dalai Lama (b. 1935), the 14th Dalai Lama observed, “Physical comforts cannot subdue mental suffering, and if we look closely, we can see that those who have many possessions are not necessarily happy.  In fact, being wealthy often brings even more anxiety.”  The Dalai Lama beliefs were echoed by John Wooden (1910–2010), basketball player and head coach, who stated, “Material possessions, winning scores, and great reputations are meaningless in the eyes of the Lord, because He knows what we really are and that is all that matters.”

People are therefore given this admonition to seek the things that are above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.  They must set their minds on these and not on those of this earth.  In baptism we’ve all died and our lives are hidden with Christ in God.  In due time, he who is our Lord will appear, and we shall appear with him in glory (Col 3:1-4).  This is our Christian faith.          

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