Lenten Devotional // Day 24

Tuesday, March 29
WHERE IS YOUR TREASURE? by Dave Merrill

Matthew 6:19-24
“Stop collecting treasures for your own benefit on earth, where moth and rust eat them and where thieves break in and steal them. Instead, collect treasures for yourselves in heaven, where moth and rust don’t eat them and where thieves don’t break in and steal them. Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
“The eye is the lamp of the body. Therefore, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how terrible that darkness will be! No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be loyal to the one and have contempt for the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.

Reflection 

An autostereogram.

Do you know this word?  Perhaps you know it by another name?  Magic Eye.

In layman's terms, an autostereogram is a 3D image hidden within a 2D image that is composed of thousands of tiny dots.  So you could be looking at a picture that just looks like colorful dots, but if you look at it just right you’re able to see the 3D outline of a shark or a flower or the Statue of Liberty.  Magic Eye made these famous in the early 1990’s.

I HATED THEM!

I couldn’t see any of them.  I would try and try, but always left feeling unfulfilled and left out.  It was right in front of me, and I was incapable of seeing the hidden gem.

This verse reminds me of an autostereogram.  There’s this truth that is hidden in plain sight, and our ability to see it or not see it is the difference between being “full of light” and being in “terrible darkness”.

What is the truth sitting directly before us?  

Don’t determine your value from stuff that can be destroyed or stolen.  Don’t let “things” become what you assign as treasure.  

Instead, collect your treasure in heaven.  This is where the autostereogram comparison really begins to take shape. (Pun intended.) You see, the verse doesn’t really give us much to go on for defining what the treasures of heaven look like.
“…collect treasures for yourselves in heaven, where moth and rust don’t eat them and where thieves don’t break in and steal them.”
Okay…so your treasure should be things that don’t break down and can’t be stolen.  Should be pretty easy to see, right?  Yet the clear picture seems to so often elude us.  Much like those ridiculous dot pictures!

The verse goes on to basically say your ability to see this dust-free and burglar-proof treasure goes hand in hand with a life full of light.  If you value the other type of a treasure, get ready for a terrible darkness.

You know what the worst part is?  You have to choose one or the other.  It’s impossible to serve them both. To live a life that’s full of light, you must serve God above wealth. Serve God. Light.  Serve wealth. Dark.

To serve is to “perform duties for”.

Will you perform duties for God?  In other words, will you use your time, resources and abilities to perform duties for love?

Or.

Will you perform duties for wealth?  Another way to see it is, will you use your time, resources and abilities to perform duties for abundance?

The very nature of love and abundance helps to crystallize our path toward light.  You see, serving love demands to be given away freely.  It’s selfless and costs nothing.  On the other hand, serving abundance demands self centered keeping through payment.

Free and given vs. payment and kept.

So as you stand there looking at the Magic Eye of life, may you use those metrics as your path to living a life full of light.  I know it’s not always plain to see, but I promise it’s just before you hidden in the dots of temptation.

When your life is feeling terribly dark, may you shift your perspective and focus upon giving away love to those around you.  Something tells me things will start to brighten up as you do, and the picture will begin to take shape.
 
Questions for Contemplation

  • What areas of your life feel dark these days?  
  • How might you be able to shift your focus away from attaining more for yourself and towards giving a free gift of love toward others?  
  • Where in your life do you see light?  
  • Do you see a correlation between your ability to perform duties for love and the light you see?

Prayer
God, I thank you for your provision of everything I need to live a life of light.  Help me to serve others and give your love away freely.  Forgive me and direct my steps in those areas where I’m holding onto things for myself a bit too tightly.  May your eyes be mine as I try to discern this path away from darkness and into the light.  Bring clarity, oh God.  May the way of Christ serve as my guide each and every day.  Amen.

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