S (Scripture): Luke 12:32 [Jesus says] “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father is well pleased to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide yourselves purses that do not wear out – a treasure in heaven that never decreases, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
O (Observation): Jesus is wrapping up a conversation about how greed and earthly possessions can distract them from living out the Kingdom ethics that Jesus encourages.
Loving others; serving others; standing with the marginalized and poor. These actions are the ethics of love lived out.
Jesus reminds the disciples that while the people of the world are busy looking out for themselves, the disciples are called to live for others. In doing so, one stores up treasures in heaven.
A (Application): Tomorrow, I and several other members of our congregation will be heading to work on a Habitat for Humanity build. We will be serving someone else – a family that is working hard and putting in sweat equity and lots of classroom training on budgeting and life skills. We will be working and sweating, even though we could be sleeping in or playing golf or going out to eat a nice big breakfast.
I say this not for self-aggrandizement, but to point out what Jesus was talking about: storing up treasures in heaven. The pleasure of sleeping in or playing golf or going out to eat will fade away. But the joy of serving someone else is everlasting. And it may seem a tall order, but God guides us when we serve.
In the end, putting in time to help someone else, is a treasure stored in heaven. No one can take that away from us. Ever.
What a joy it is to serve others. Every time I step away from something like this Habitat build, I wonder…why don’t I do this more often? <ouch>
P (Prayer): Lord, our spirit is willing, but our flesh is so weak. Remind us of the joy of storing up treasures in heaven. Amen!!!