What matters here; doesn’t matter there.
We spend our days pursuing so many things. Wealth, good looks, position, possessions and stature. These things in themselves are not bad or wrong. They’re just not the most important things. We have to take all these things in perspective.
What Matters Here
I think it’s pretty easy to guess. Wealth – we work hard to earn our living and wish to pursue more to attain more. Possessions – owning homes, cars, ‘toys’, collectibles etc…is not a bad thing. It’s part of this life here. Beauty – we are inundated by images of what outwardly is beautiful and we are provided with many, many products and programs to attempt to attain or retain beauty. Stature or Position – importance in life is very important to some people and those in entertainment and politics gain a sense of respect from the general public. Objects – I love collecting things. But, that’s all they are in the end things that will some day wear away. Even things as race and gender matter here. I’m very thankful that as I grew up I really didn’t experience racial prejudice. Where I grew up in Southern California my best friends were those of different races. I learned to love and to accept them for the persons they were. Today, there’s so much tension and division fueled by bad actions and intentions. All these things and some more matter here and are not necessarily bad things.
What Matters There
The first thing that matters is the answer to a simple question. To you, who is Jesus? If he is the Son of God, third in the trinity of the God-head, if he is your Savior – that’s the most important thing. Then, what matters – did we honor God with our life? Did we spend time in a relationship with Him here to learn more of him…become more like Him? In becoming more like Him did we demonstrate the Fruits of the Spirit…love, joy, peace, long-suffering….etc..Did we do things that have long-term effect. Did we share our love and faith in God with others. Did we treat others as God does…did we love others, especially the unlovely. Did we encourage our fellow believers, did we spend time with them in worship?
Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Matthew 6:19-21
These things are considered treasures in Heaven.
We can collect, work hard, attain stature here on earth. These are not bad things…but our main focus should be those things that have eternal value, that are heavenly treasure.
The whole of the sixth chapter of Matthew is a good one to know just how to live our lives here:
- Verse 1-4: Give – discretely not in a manner that seeks or draws attention.
- Verse 5-13: Pray in secret – in a place where there’s no distractions; where it’s just you and God. Pray as if you’re in a conversation with God…consider the ‘Lord’s Prayer’ in what you include as you pray.
- Verse 14 – 15: Forgive every one…God has forgiven you of all things
- Verse 16 – 18: Fast – when you do make sure it’s completely between you and God. Fast for reasons to understand more and to grow closer to God.
- Verse 19 – 21: Lay up Heavenly treasures – there should your heart be…
- Verse 22 – 24Guard your heart and mind by what you see and what you do. Don’t compromise yourself by viewing and doing those things that are opposed to God.
- he light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.
- Verse 25 – 31: Don’t worry too much about possessions here on earth. Know God loves you and will give you what you need.
- Verse 32 – 33: Focus on the main thing – seek first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness…all other things will be given to you as you need.
Make pursuing your relationship with God, pursuing those things that matter in Heaven and pursuing others by loving them your main focus in life….all those other things here on earth will be given to you, as you need.