Sunday, November 14, 2010

Living on Treasure Island

A devotional by Debra E. Marvin

The American Dream will end someday by no fault of mine, Reaganomics or Nancy Pelosi. For the Pilgrims and our forefathers, it meant the opportunity to practice religion freely, and enjoy the rewards of their own labor. Later, the dream became home and vehicle ownership and a good job with enough left over to keep a dog, provide your children with more than you had, and to enjoy vacation. Today it’s simply MORE, BIGGER, BETTER.

“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

Do you know that more biblical lessons are about finances than any other? Yet, it remains a minefield. Aren’t we to plan, save, store up for retirement? Incur just the ‘acceptable’ debts for Christians? A home, a vehicle, college perhaps?

I'm no expert on finances, but I'm starting to get a better fix on 'treasure'. We've been told not to worry for food and clothing for our value is above the birds of the air and the flowers of the field.

Unlike these satisfied lilies and sparrows, I bought a Garmin. Reconditioned and really cheap. An impulse buy. It made traveling alone easier and safer. There--I’ve justified my action. But do I treasure it? I’d be pretty annoyed if it was stolen or it stopped working after only a few months.

Would I rush in to a burning house to save my Garmin? Most definitely not. My children’s photos or my flash drive? Even going in to save pets is reckless. What about my family, my friends? What about any person, neighbor known or unknown? What treasures are worth any risk we have to take?

You've heard that "you can't take it with you", but that's wrong. People are the treasures you can take to heaven. Risk new priorities. We don't know the final outcome of our words, or more importantly, our actions.

Think about the treasures in your life. Family. Friends. If you can look upon acquaintances and even strangers with the eyes of God, you’ll see there are treasures all around you. You're living on Treasure Island. People. Full of worth and all, every one of them, loved and forgiven by God. They may not know it. Many would not care. That’s not your problem. When people become your treasures, they’ll pay attention to your heart.

Father God, astound me with the beauty of the treasures around me. Raise their worth in my eyes and help me put aside those things that I’ve treasured instead. Let your Holy Spirit guide my words and actions to be used for kingdom purposes, so that others may truly understand the gift of your Son’s saving grace. I ask this in His name, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

Thank you to Family Life Network morning DJ, Mr. Jean Herington for inspiring this post by sharing a new insight on the treasures all around us.
If any of you are reading this post and are unsure of what this all means, ask one of your crazy Christian friends who actually enjoys going to church.
If you are looking for a good online radio station:

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  1. I came across your post today. You've summed it up. When I moved here from England I was astounded at the "I want it now" mentality. For me staying out of debt is a big plus and learning to be content. If Paul can be content while imprisoned, what do I have to complain about?
    All the answers for a good way of life are in the bible and you made some very good comments.
    Thanks - you brightened my day.
    Cozy In Texas

  2. One treasure I do like to invest in is my children's education. Especially in areas that will help them to fulfill the ministries God has given them. Sort of investing in treasures that will also invest in future treasures.

  3. Thanks Ann! I hope you visit our blog often. We always do devotionals on Sunday and daily themes throughout the week. I'm glad you enjoyed my thoughts today. As you said, the Bible is an endless source of wisdom and guidance.

  4. Dina, it's great to be able to recognize our children's skills and guide them. I'm not even sure I had any idea of my own skills and talents when I graduated from high school!

    Still not sure.

    I know you are an awesome mom, and you and Dani will send them out with a very sound foundation.

  5. The siren song of "Stuff" is so tempting. We're barraged all day long with the notion that this item or that luxury will make us happy and successful. But things can never make us more than temporarily happy. Even the world acknowledges that, and yet they can't seem to find any other answer.

    So glad that I have found the answer!

    Thanks for the reminder to lay up treasures in heaven. Since people are what God treasures too, maybe by that verse He meant finding folks to take with us.

  6. What a timely post, Deb -- it's stewardship time at church! So I've been thinking about this topic a bit. And struggling with wants vs needs. Not an easy subject but an essential one.

    When I consider Who or what my treasure is, of course I want it to be Jesus and then my family and their foundation in Him, but I realize how much I store in worldly things and take the important, eternal things for granted. Thanks for your prayer.

    Hope you all are having a good weekend!

  7. Perfect timing for this, Deb, as we are barraged with opportunities for Christmas gluttony!
    Thank you!

  8. Debra! I just wanted to pop over and say hello online. It was great meeting you tonight. :) And I totally agree with this post!


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