1 Samuel 25-26 Luke 12:32-59
“Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Get for yourselves purses that will not wear out, the treasure in heaven that never runs out, where thieves can’t steal and moths can’t destroy. Your heart will be where your treasure is.” (Luke 12:33-34 NCV)
When Jesus told His followers to sell what they had and give to the poor, they didn’t have much. Compared to the material possessions we have now, they had nothing, yet they were in danger of being consumed by their possessions back then. When He told them to use what they had to take care of others, He made an important point. Our heart follows our treasure. When Jesus told His followers to sell their possessions and give to the poor, He was telling us to have a treasure shift. If our treasure is found in our possessions, we’ll love them before anything or anyone else. By getting rid of our possessions and giving to the poor, we’re showing that our treasure has shifted and now we treasure His people. Jesus showed that He treasured people above things, by going to the cross.
I don’t know how Jesus would put it today. We have so much stuff around us that we do everything we can to protect it. Some have fences or walls around their property. Armed guards or armed patrols give many people peace of mind. We wire our houses with an alarm system, or perhaps use a wireless system. I think Jesus would say that it’s obvious where our treasure, and our heart is. We’re afflicted with stuffitis and we try to find more space in the house or apartment to put the latest junk we’ve bought. When our stuff gets out of control, we rent a storage unit to keep our stuff, since we don’t build bigger barns in the city. We’ve worked hard to get the money so we could buy all this stuff, so we deserve every single piece of stuff we get. And we tell ourselves that as we see people living in poverty scratching for a piece of bread to survive, or the single mother working two jobs to keep her family fed, or the family whose breadwinner has just been laid off wondering how long they’ll be able to pay rent and eat. We may try to ignore the suffering, but, if we truly are followers of Jesus, these words haunt us as we look at our stuff. Maybe we can follow Jesus but start small. Have a garage sale and sell some of our possessions. Do that and find a way to help those in poverty. Put your treasure into people and you’ll find that your heart will follow. The message of Jesus is simple: people are more important than stuff, so get rid of the stuff to help people. When you do that, you’ll understand the heart of Jesus.
Lord, remind me that all the stuff I have is unimportant when compared to caring for people that You love. Help me to put my treasure to work helping those people and getting a heart like Yours.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.