Greg Strand is EFCA executive director of theology and credentialing, and he serves on the Board of Ministerial Standing as well as the Spiritual Heritage Committee. He and his family are members of Northfield (Minnesota) EFC.
Where does your treasure lie? How do you discern what your treasure is? What ultimately is your true treasure?
Often our treasure is rooted in money, possessions, health, and/or things. We feel a sense of security when we can “control” issues, either now in the present, but also into the future. It is certainly not wrong to plan and strategize. That is wise stewardship. But in what are we ultimately resting and in whom are we ultimately trusting?
I think of David’s unreserved and unqualified trust in the Lord in the midst of temptations to trust other things: “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God” (Ps. 20:7).
How much of where we find or place our treasure is reflected in our lack of contentment in the Lord or fear of others or the unknown? How much is rooted in the fact that we think we know better than the Lord where true life and contentment, our true treasure is found? How does the lie of the serpent in garden rear its ugly head again through the words, “Did God really say? (Gen. 3:1).
We were created by One and for One. We will only find our true satisfaction and contentment in Him. As Augustine stated about all of us in our fallen state, our hearts are restless until they find rest in God. Once one has found rest in God in and through the person and work of Jesus Christ, everything else is rightly ordered (Matt. 6:33). We are created by Him and for Him (Col. 1:16; Rev. 4:11), and our lives joyfully reflect that (2 Cor. 5:14-15).
Although there are many things that are good and are blessings, they are not ultimate. All gifts from God are good and are to result in thanks and gratitude to the Giver of the gifts (1 Tim. 4:4-5). But good gifts are not to become ultimate because then they become idols (1 Tim. 6:17).
The true treasure is Jesus Christ (Col. 2:2b-3). This treasure consists of both His person and His message: the gospel of Jesus Christ. The gospel must be believed and received (Jn. 1:12). An integral part of that message and response is repentance, which is a turning from and a turning to.
When Jesus came preaching the kingdom, where the true treasures are found, he proclaimed, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel” (Mk. 1:15). The kingdom of God is our first priority and when that is true all God’s other blessings are ours as well (Matt. 6:19-20, 33-34).
This treasure is such that one is willing to sell all to obtain all (Matt. 13:44). As an example of one who believed and received, upon encountering Jesus Zacchaeus’ whole life was changed and it was first made evident in the way he handled earthly possessions (Lk. 19:2-10). As a contrary example, the rich man concluded that life existed in his wealth and possessions and he did all he could to retain it all (Lk. 12:15-21). In the end, he lost it all and his life, for eternity.
Where is your true treasure? How does your life reflect it?