Monday, October 13, 2008

Does Wall Street Hold Your Treasure?

I'm sure everyone knows by now that we are in a financial crisis! I guess it's time to PANIC! I don't have any interests on Wall Street and it is good to see the price of gas coming down. But really when the economy is in trouble, nothing is good. If people don't have money in their pockets they are not happy. Truth be told, I'm not too happy when I don't have money in my pocket either! I'm trying to decide if this whole thing is bigger than maybe it would be if we weren't so close to a Presidential election.

Mike went to visit a guy who is in the "financial" business this week. He is just a wreck about what's going on, not only for his customers but because his income comes from what his customers make. I was thinking about that during church this week. We had a family that lost a two year old granddaughter last month, a man with four kids who lost their wife and mother to cancer last winter and a women who was widowed just last week worshiping with us. When you think about feeling hurt over the money you lost or don't have in comparison to that kind of hurt it just seems foolish!

I have a friend from my high school youth group whose parents house burned to the ground this week. They lost everything except what they had packed for a trip they were about to take. Her dad owned a successful business and was very generous in giving jobs. He helped a lot of people with what God gave him. They have a lot of earthly wealth and I'm sure they had a lovely home. But if that's all they were living for or cared about, their hearts and hope would be at the bottom of that fire.

Jesus has a lot to say in Matthew about being focused on earthly possessions. Matthew 6:19-21 says, "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

I'm trying to make this point to my kids. They are normal and feel frustrated when we can't buy everything they want or go out and do things all the time. Just as I am learning the lessons of Matthew 6, so are they. Our kids can learn to rely on God and stay focused on Him, not things. I hope they are realizing there are a lot more important things in life and bigger problems than wanting a new stuffed animal or going to see the new movie that came out.

Sometimes it is frustrating to not have very much. But it sure makes it easier to weather financial storms when you don't have much to lose. I know that focusing on God and His daily provisions for us and on the mission he's given us on earth to tell others about His amazing grace and sacrifice for us pays more than the stock market ever could.

It also makes it easier to look forward to eternity and not hold on to the things of this world. I mean I might be sad to leave a Jaguar behind, but an old full-size van - not so much!

Matthew 6:33-34
"But seek fist his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

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