Realigning our Priorities

Realigning our Priorities

 

Matthew 6:19-24

“Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

 

            It is easy to become distracted from the Kingdom of God. Christ came to deliver us from sin's devastation and establish his kingdom.  The Kingdom agenda of God is a theme throughout Matthew's book.  When John came to prepare the way for Christ’s arrival, he announced that the Kingdom of Heaven was at hand (3:2).  This was the same message central to Christ's ministry.  In 4:17, it states that “Jesus began to preach and say, ‘Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.’”  In the Lord’s Prayer, we are to affirm and pray for the arrival of his kingdom.  The goal of the Christian life is not about the present but about participating in the coming Kingdom.  However, in the pursuit of his kingdom, we can become distracted and our focus derailed by the lure of the wealth of the present.  

            In verse 19, Christ challenges us to reorient our priorities.  We get caught pursuing earthly pleasures and possessions in the physical and natural realms.  We go to college to get a career to pursue the wealth the world tells us is necessary for happiness.  When we start our jobs, we often aim to “make enough money to retire early so that we can enjoy life.”  People work long hours to move up the proverbial ladder of success. In marriage, the husband and wife pursue careers for financial prosperity and security.  We look for bigger homes with manicured lawns. Since 1950 the size of an average home has nearly tripled.  The world tells us that success is measured by prosperity, and prosperity is measured by the size of our homes, the type of car we drive, and the “toys” we have for recreation.  Our worth as a person is measured by our success and the size of our pocketbook measures success.  We embrace the illusion that happiness is obtained by prosperity.

            In verses 19-24, Christ cuts through the fog of our false illusion by pointing out the folly of pursuing wealth as the goal of life.  Wealth and material possessions are transitory at best.  What we buy today will become fodder for the landfill tomorrow.  By the time we come to the end of life, our wealth is gone, and we live in a single room in a senior care facility where all our possessions dwindled to a bed, dresser, and a small table with a TV sitting upon it broadcasting a show we cannot see or hear.  For all our pursuit of wealth, we end up right where we started, with little or no possessions and being cared for by others.  

            Yet there is hope, for Christ gives us an alternative focus that realigns our priorities to things with eternal value.  There is a pursuit that attains permanent “wealth” and success.  The wealth and success that is permanent are treasures that are stored up in heaven.  In contrast to the transitory nature of earthly treasures, these treasures are eternal.  They are freely given and eternally secure.  These treasures are found in the pursuit of Christ’s kingdom.  Instead of investing in possessions, invest in people.  Instead of purchasing bigger mansions, invest in ministries.  Instead of investing in cars, invest in a church.  Instead of filling a landfill with junk, fill heaven with people. As someone has stated, we cannot serve God and money, but we can serve God with money.  When we do so, we discover that we have eternal treasures that will never rust or fade away.  What are we investing in today that will bring eternal dividends tomorrow?

            

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