“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is there will your heart be also.” – Matthew 6:19-20
By the grace of God we just sold our home in Colorado Springs where I grew up and my parents lived for over 50 years. My wife, Glenda, and I owned this home for all 16 years of our marriage. Though only living in it for a few months out of every year we accumulated a lot of “stuff” in it in those sixteen years.
My separate ministry from PAYH, which I led when Glenda and I married, took us around the world. We accumulated memories of where we served and places we visited. Later travels after leaving this ministry to concentrate on PAYH added to the “stuff.” We found out just how much when the house was packed and loaded on a truck by movers.
We all have experienced thieves, moths, and rust through the years. We know how such things impact “stuff.” We have had some “precious” things of ours stolen through the years, have somehow lost other significant possessions, and more has simply broken and worn out with age.
These are most valid reasons to not put your trust in your accumulation of temporary things; nor to worship or “treasure” them. Your real treasures should lie elsewhere. The old adage of never seeing a U-haul trailer hitched to a hearse tells the true story: you can’t take it with you. All of it burns up in the end.
The accumulation of “stuff,” however, should never be assumed to be evil in and of itself. It is the worship of “stuff” which amounts to sin. Your “stuff” can truly be a reminder of God’s care for you, of His provision for your family, and remembrancers of His love.
Your eyes should above all else continue to be fixed on your Savior’s face, beholding your real treasure, the essence of your trust, the sure repository of your forever love. (Hebrews 12)
Not in every instance is the accumulation of inessential “stuff” sin; rather, it is how you view it, how close you hold it to yourself, how unbearable it becomes for you to part with. Your one heart-propelled exclamation ought always be instead, “Give me Jesus, or I die!” Mere stuff can never take the place of your being in Christ, and His being in you!
As Saint Paul wrote, “Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ, and be found in Him.” (Philippians 3:8-9)
You must keep the accumulation of “stuff” in the truest perspective. Never grasp mere things over boldly grasping Jesus Himself. He alone is your salvation, your all in all!
“My Jesus, I love thee, I know thou art mine; for thee all the follies of sin I resign; my gracious Redeemer, my Savior art thou; if ever I loved thee, my Jesus, ‘tis now.”
(1st verse of William Featherston’s hymn, “My Jesus, I Love Thee,” 1864)
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