(Jesus said) "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." Matthew 6:19-21
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
The salvation story of Jesus Christ reaches around the world. So that the readers of our Daily Devotion may see the power of the Savior on a global scale, we have asked the volunteers of our International Ministry Centers to write our Friday devotions. We pray that the Spirit may touch your day through their words.
In Christ, I remain, His servant and yours,
Kenneth R. Klaus
Speaker Emeritus of The Lutheran Hour
Many of us, especially the young, worry much about earthly things rather than heavenly things.
Indeed, almost all of us spend a great deal of time thinking how we can accumulate money, cars, houses, clothes and just about anything else our heart might desire. For many the search for stuff has become so compelling even the secular media has noted an increase in armed robbery, cyber fraud, prostitution, and many other illicit activities.
All this -- because people are looking for shortcuts to get what they want.
Now money is a useful tool and not, in and of itself, a terrible thing. It also needs to be said that material things are not bad either. Many of them are wonderful conveniences, which help make our lives easier and allow us to accomplish more than if we had not been blessed with their power and effectiveness.
Still, it's a dangerous thing when we spend more time searching for things transient than we do a good Bible study or Christian fellowship. Nor is it spiritually healthy when we spend more time pursuing such things than we do our own personal devotions and prayers.
For that reason we need to keep worldly things in proper perspective.
To that end, each of us would do well to ask, if I were to die with the things I'm pursuing, if my life ends unexpectedly with these treasures, will I be able to take them with me into the afterlife?
Of course, the answer to that question is, "No." When we die, we must leave everything behind ... everything except for that which the Savior lived, died and rose to give us. That's what Job was trying to tell us when he said, "Naked I came, naked I shall go" (see Job 1:21).
Jesus agreed that we must have proper priorities when He instructed His followers: "Seek His Kingdom first ... and all others things shall be given to you" (see Matthew 6:33). Elsewhere our Redeemer amplified that thought by telling us not to worry much about earthly things, which will rot or can be taken away by thieves.
THE PRAYER: Thank You, Heavenly Father, let Your Holy Spirit protect and guide me to concentrate on heavenly treasures more than earthly things. Through Your dear Son, my Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Biography of Author: Today's international devotion was written by Rev. Cletus Alale, who is associated with the Lutheran Hour Ministries office in Ghana. In this West African nation of nearly 24 million people, LHM-Ghana, which is known there as Lutheran Media Ministry, has its headquarters in Accra and was established in 1993. This ministry center uses music, dance and storytelling to share the love of Jesus. A musical group, The Harps, ministers regularly through song and spoken message. Other vital mission efforts are Equipping the Saints (ETS), children's ministry activities and prison outreach, where prisoners are supplied with food, Christian literature and clothing.
To learn more about our International Ministries, click here or visit www.lhmint.org.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries