Matthew 6:19–21 (NKJV)
“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.”
This familiar passage sounds like a variation of, “You can’t take it with you.” Is Jesus saying to store up treasures where you’ll have them after you die? No. The next verse gives a completely different reason.
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” — Matthew 6:22 (NKJV)
God sees things from a different perspective. Learning that perspective is the essence of discipleship. He’s saying, “Forget your earthly treasures; what’s important is your heart.” That’s why it’s listed first here.
Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment.” — Matthew 22:37–38 (NKJV)
Love for God should be, first and foremost, from the heart. But what does that mean?
There may be an answer in the COVID-19 pandemic. Being isolated by the pandemic produces a longing in everyone’s heart. We miss just hanging out with the people we love. Zoom doesn’t satisfy.
That’s what the next DEEP series will be all about.
I didn’t plan the Jonah study to be a follow-up to the Faith in What study, but it turned out to be one—to an amazing extent. I learned something that I didn’t know I didn’t know; acting like a Christian should come from thinking like a Christian. Having the right perspective makes a world of difference.
For example, we should obey traffic laws. I don’t care if you obey traffic laws because you have a fear of people in uniform and are terrified at the prospect of getting pulled over. It doesn’t make much difference.
Conversely, if you’re reading this, then you must have some sort of Bible Study or “Quiet Time” routine. Why? If you do it out of a sense of obligation, it isn’t as valuable as if you do it with a sense of longing to connect with God and discover what He has in store for you. Perspective makes all the difference.
The Faith in What study taught who Jesus is; the Jonah study taught who we are. In Jonah, we saw the right mindset of a prophet (or a Christian). Actually, we saw the wrong mindset but learned the right one in the process. The right mindset is to see oneself as a part of the kingdom of God and to view everything from that perspective. Being a member of His kingdom is exciting; it’s easily the most important thing in our lives. The importance of everything else derives from its relationship to the kingdom.
It turns out that Jonah was only part one of “How to Think Like a Christian.” Part two will be Hosea. Jonah taught us the right mindset. Hosea will teach us the right heartset.
I didn’t plan that either.
All the weekly study guides, which include all five devotionals plus related questions for discussion or meditation, are available for download here:
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