Scripture Reading ~ Matthew 6:19-24

Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.~ Matthew 6:21

You might think of yourself as a well-adjusted grownup. But what happens when someone puts a scratch on your new car? What happens when the dog gets a hold of your new shoes? What happens when the market drops?

When things like that happen, we can get upset. And even if we stay calm and collected on the outside, on the inside we might get really angry, grow bitter, and even fall apart. Because that thing that we treasured has suddenly been taken away.

There’s nothing wrong with caring for your stuff, or saving for retirement. But Jesus wants to guard us from the temptation to turn material things into idols. If we’re not careful, we can make decisions based on the size of our paycheck or the gains in our portfolio instead of following God’s leading.

~ A.J. Gretz

So Jesus rightly warns us when he says that where our treasure is, there our heart will be also. Our time, attention, and resources can easily be given over to our money and our stuff if we aren’t paying attention.
Jesus’ desire is that we come to see our relationship with God as our most valuable treasure. Full life with God, the source of our joy and comfort and purpose, is greater than we can even imagine.

Father, help me to have a right relationship with you, recognizing that money and possessions are mere gifts that cannot satisfy. They can never be more important than you, the Giver. Amen.

Streams in The Desert

Cushion of the Sea

And the peace of God, which transcends all our powers of thought, will be a garrison to guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus ~ Phil 4:7
There is what is called the “cushion of the sea.” Down beneath the surface that is agitated by storms, and driven about with winds, there is a part of the sea that is never stirred. When we dredge the bottom and bring up the remains of animal and vegetable life we find that they give evidence of not having been disturbed in the least, for hundreds and thousands of years. The peace of God is that eternal calm which, like the cushion of the sea, lies far too deep down to be reached by any external trouble and disturbance; and he who enters into the presence of God, becomes partaker of that undisturbed and undisturbable calm.

~ Dr. A. T. Pierson

When winds are raging o’er the upper ocean,  
And billows wild contend with angry roar,  
’Tis said, far down beneath the wild commotion,  
That peaceful stillness reigneth evermore.  

Far, far beneath, the noise of tempest dieth,  
And silver waves chime ever peacefully,  
And no rude storm, how fierce soe’er it flieth,  
Disturbs the Sabbath of that deeper sea.  

So to the heart that knows Thy love, O Purest,  
There is a temple sacred evermore,  
And all the babble of life’s angry voices  
Dies in hushed silence at its peaceful door.  

Far, far away, the roar of passion dieth,
And loving thoughts rise calm and peacefully,
And no rude storm, how fierce soe’er it flieth,
Disturbs the soul that dwells, O Lord, in Thee.

~ Harriet Beecher Stowe

“The Pilgrim they laid in a large upper chamber, facing the sun-rising. The name of the chamber was Peace.”

~ Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress

Daily Quiet Time

The life which I now live in the flesh.~ Gal 2:20

I expect to pass through this world but once therefore, if there be any kindness I can show or any good thing I can do to any fellow human being, let me do it now; let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.
~ Marcus Aurelius

Eternal Perspectives

The Lord does not forsake the work of his hands. In faithfulness he upholds his creation order. Even the great crisis that will come on the world at Christ’s return will not annihilate God’s creation or our cultural development of it. The new heaven and the new earth the Lord has promised will be a continuation, purified by fire, of the creation we now know. There is no reason to believe that the cultural dimensions of earthly reality (except insofar as they are involved in sin) will be absent from the new, glorified earth that is promised. In fact, the biblical indications point in the opposite direction. Describing the new earth as the new Jerusalem, John writes that “The kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. . . . The glory and the honor of the nations will be brought into it” (Revelation 21:24, 26). This very likely refers to the cultural treasures of mankind which will be purified by passing through the fires of judgment, like gold in a crucible.

~ Albert Wolters, [Creation Regained]

Daily Strength for Daily Needs

Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things which thou knowest not.

– Jer 33:3

And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked.

– 1 Kgs 3:13

No voice of prayer to Thee can rise,
But swift as light Thy Love replies;
Not always what we ask, indeed,
But, O most Kind! what most we need.

If you have any trial which seems intolerable, pray,—pray that it be relieved or changed. There is no harm in that. We may pray for anything, not wrong in itself, with perfect freedom, if we do not pray selfishly. One disabled from duty by sickness may pray for health, that he may do his work; or one hemmed in by internal impediments may pray for utterance, that he may serve better the truth and the right. Or, if we have a besetting sin, we may pray to be delivered from it, in order to serve God and man, and not be ourselves Satans to mislead and destroy. But the answer to the prayer may be, as it was to Paul, not the removal of the thorn, but, instead, a growing insight into its meaning and value. The voice of God in our soul may show us, as we look up to Him, that His strength is enough to enable us to bear it.

Streams in The Desert

Wait Quietly

And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise

~ Heb 6:15

Abraham was long tried, but he was richly rewarded. The Lord tried him by delaying to fulfill His promise. Satan tried him by temptation; men tried him by jealousy, distrust, and opposition; Sarah tried him by her peevishness. But he patiently endured. He did not question God’s veracity, nor limit His power, nor doubt His faithfulness, nor grieve His love; but he bowed to Divine Sovereignty, submitted to Infinite Wisdom, and was silent under delays, waiting the Lord’s time. And so, having patiently endured, he obtained the promise.

God’s promises cannot fail of their accomplishment. Patient waiters cannot be disappointed. Believing expectation shall be realized.

Beloved, Abraham’s conduct condemns a hasty spirit, reproves a murmuring one, commends a patient one, and encourages quiet submission to God’s will and way. Remember, Abraham was tried; he patiently waited; he received the promise, and was satisfied. Imitate his example, and you will share the same blessing.

~ Selected