THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS IN LIFE ARE NOT EARTHLY TREASURES BUT TREASURES IN HEAVEN
Verse 33 says, "Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail." I don't believe treasures in heaven refers to literal heavenly savings account that is set for automatic deposit when we give some coins to a beggar, or every time we repent from a few sins, or attended a few church events. I don't think it's an accounting of income when we are good, and a reduction of our heavenly cash flow when we are naughty. Second, I don't think spiritual riches are equivalent to material poverty. This text does not labeled acquisition and earnings as evil.
This passage is an encouragement to not be afraid when we are in a financial crisis and a reminder to know our priorities.V.31 says "But seek his kingdom and all these things will be given to you as well." This text is a reminder that the most important things in life are not things. Spiritual riches, I believe, refers to our inner spiritual life. Our inner life that carries our unseen spiritual treasures. Our faith, integrity, kindness, spiritual growth.
So go ahead and accept that salary increase and job promotion. Or go ahead and expand your financial ledger. But do not forget also that there is an inner economy that will go through a recession if not manage well. Like a literal economy, it needs spiritual investment, to run a cycle of growth.
- These are the treasures not purchasable by money.
- These are the riches not embezzled by identity theft.
But they burn bright like a radiant beacon in a society driven by bank accounts and social ladders. And we can be a witness that there is another dimension behind all price tags and monetary values around us, where lies genuine peace and contentment:
- Hope that is not dependent on credit cards,
- Faith that is not based on statistics and fiscal figures.
And though its been claimed that the almighty dollar is the solution to all our troubles, IT IS NOT! Because the most important things in life are not things.
THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS IN LIFE ARE NOT ACCOMPLISHMENTS BUT FAITHFULNESS
This gospel was written when believers were anticipating the return of Christ immediately. So Luke the author was using a lot of Jesus' famous eschatological-end-of-the age-sayings:
- "Be ready, keep alert, keep watch"
- "No one knows the hour so be always wide-awake"
- "The master is coming back so keep those lamps burning" (v. 35).
Meaning this verse is not asking if you lit the lamp 10 years ago, but if you can keep your lamp burning today. It's not asking if you waited, but if you can keep on waiting right now
Meaning, we cannot glorify our past accomplishments that we lose sight of our present challenges I believe that the crucial point of this passage is faithfulness. But when I say faithfulness, I don't mean perfection. When I say faithfulness, I mean moving forward:
- Sometimes slowly and steadily,
- A willingness that is not immune to uncertainty,
- A readiness that is sometimes accompanied by fear or doubts.
But a "willingness," nevertheless, that steps into action in spite of weaknesses and imperfections. But you know what, the most important things in life are not perfect accomplishments, but our faithfulness, our pure intent to stay on the path where God has called us.
AND LET ME ADD ONE THING: our church is facing some challenges: both financially and lack of volunteers. Listen, you don't need to wait for a perfect opportunity to volunteer in church. If you see a need and no one is doing it, fill it. Just do it.Because here at Bethany, the most important things are not perfect results and soaring numbers, but our lives ready to serve. Our hearts ready to say "yes."