Monday, April 25, 2011

Where Is Your Treasure?

"Where Is Your Treasure?"
By Zach Wood
Matthew 6:19-21
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.

If there is one thing I struggle with more than anything, it is the priority I put on things that are not important and the lack of importance I put on what matters most.  I ask myself often, "What do I spend most of my leisure time doing?"  When I am not at work or at a scheduled activity during the week, what am I spending my time doing?  Am I devoting that time to my family and personal growth in the Lord?  Sadly, I have to admit I am not as much as I should be.   

Where are you putting most of your time and attention?  Is your priority going out and getting the latest and greatest gadgets on the market?  Is your priority becoming a workaholic so you can make more money to spend on leisure things?  Is your priority on spending every single bit of free time in the yard just to have the best looking lawn in town?  Now, please do not misunderstand what I am saying  There is nothing wrong with having high tech gadgets, making good money at work, or working in the yard with your free time.  However, when we are putting more time on those things and less time with family and building a growing relationship with them and in our personal relationship with Christ, then we have a problem.

What is most important to you?  Where is your treasure?  This is a question we must ask ourselves each and every day.  What are spending most of our free time doing?  Hobbies are good in moderation, but we cannot use those hobbies in excess and sacrifice precious time with our spouse, children, friends and our personal walk in Christ. 

These things we spend time doing in life are only temporary.  If we are so focused on these things and less interested in the time we invest with our families and our relationship with God, our treasures will rot, mold, rust and decay.  There is no solid value to be put on the things of this world.  They are only temporary.  We must put importance and priority on the treasures that will last for an eternity.  Our relationships with family, friends and others who we witness to will last. 

I pray that each of us will seriously consider and re-evaluate where our treasures are and what they really should be.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Search My Heart O Lord

"Search My Heart O Lord"
By Zach Wood
Psalm 139:23-24
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.  See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

If a stranger were to come up to you and tell you that you needed to change your life and get your priorities correct, you probably not only would be shocked, but feel a bit violated.  First of all, that person does not know you.  Second, that person has just crossed a line that should not be crossed unless he or she really knows you.  Each of us have had people, at some point in our lives, come up to us and tell us that we need to change our attitude, our priorities or get something else correct in our lives. 

Now if a good friend or family member were to approach you and challenge you with some things, you might react and respond differently.  This person probably knows you better and has more of an idea of what to say to encourage and challenge you.  Granted, it is different for each person and for each situation someone is in.  But we would probably all agree that only a few people in our lives really "know us" and can make those comments to us without setting us off. 

You might feel violated if someone at your work place would come into your cubicle or office and start cleaning without your permission.  You might feel violated if some stranger came to your house and started going through your personal things.  Kids might feel violated if a parent suddenly walks into their room and starts rummaging through things.  These are all instances where our privacy becomes violated.  None of us like this.  We like to keep certain things to ourselves and keep it that way. 

When I think about how we lives our daily lives, I believe this is how we sometimes treat God in our relationship with Him.  We live our lives the way we want to and only invite Him into certain areas that we feel safe for Him to be part of.  Other areas of our lives, we do not want Him part of. 

These past couple of weeks, I have been listening a lot to Hillsong United song "Search My Heart".  This song has ministered to me so much and I began reading over and over through Psalm 139.  Especially the last two verses where David talks about how he wants God to search his heart and remove any offensive ways in him.  How powerful of a prayer is that??  I began feeling that toward God and asking Him to seriously come in and find offensive ways in me. 

When we allow God to search our hearts and find offensive things in us, it can be scary.  We may feel violated at first, just like we would feel if someone we did not know challenged our priorities.  We get set in many ways and we do not want to change.  However, God is not intending to violate us, but simply desires to change who we are and what we have allowed ourselves to become from worldly influences and our own desires to chase after things that do not please Him. 

Truth is, God has every right to come in and remove what is nasty and filthy in our hearts.  That is truly the only way He can fully cleanse us and restore us.  We must be willing to let Him in and "clean house". 

I would encourage you to go online and listen to that song "Search My Heart" by Hillsong United.  It is a wonderful and powerful song of worship that will challenge and inspire you to allow God to mold you and restore you.  It has been a blessing to me and has really ministered to me the past couple of weeks.

Will you allow Him to search your heart and restore you?