Growing in Jesus Lesson 4
Our treasure in heaven
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust destroys, 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 or steal; for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” - Matthew 6:19-21
What makes us complain? What makes us get upset or angry with God? What makes us get upset or angry with another person? Is it because our will has been crossed? Is it because something we have wanted has been delayed? Examine what makes you upset. Is it something that helps others or is it something that helps you? Do we spend a lot of time being upset about what happens to us? Do we spend much time being upset about what happens to others?
Our treasure in heaven is made up of things that happen to others and our treasure on earth is made up of things that happen to us. As long as we are consumed with despair and anger about things that happen to us, we have our hearts fixed on treasure on earth. And as much time as we are in sorrow and concern for others our treasure is in heaven. So the more time our thoughts are consumed with others the more we are setting our treasures in heaven. For Jesus said that if we give even a cup of cold water in His name to the least of these, we are doing it to Him.
The devil would have us to be continually consumed with going in circles in our own troubles and we could be caught up in that forever. But Jesus would have us consumed with concern for others. It always comes back to setting our hearts on serving others instead of ourselves. How can we help someone today? Who am I helping today? Who’s need is my most pressing concern today? Who needs me the most? These are the thoughts of those who’s treasure is in heaven.
It always comes down to how much time we will step out of ourselves and what is bothering us and how much time we will give to the needs of others. If we let the devil fill our thoughts with what makes us upset then we will never have the time to step out and be a blessing to others. If our hearts are struggling with resentments or self pity, we are in no good spirit to brighten someone else’s day. We can only brighten someone’s day if we have given all of our own struggles to Jesus and allowed Him to be our peace and confidence. Then we will be a blessing to others and it will be the fact that we have difficulties in our lives and yet are full of joy that will draw people to want Jesus in their lives to! They will see that He really does have the power to give us peace and joy in the midst of real problems.
I’ve been contemplating how unforgiveness is at the heart of every despair and discouragement that we have. Jesus says in verses 14 and 15 of Matt. 6 that if we don’t forgive each other of our transgressions our heavenly Father will not forgive ours. Did you realize that when you doubt God’s goodness toward you and His answers to prayer its because you have unforgiveness in your heart towards Him? It is unforgiveness that makes us not want to turn our hearts to joyful expectancy because we want to be upset with Him. Unforgiveness is at the root of every depression and despairing countenance because if we don’t hold onto any unforgiveness than we intentionally believe the best of people and of God and from that mind-set, joy springs up. The minute we begin to believe good of God we can’t be anything but joyful from then on!
_ Our treasure in heaven is made up of things that happen to others and our treasure on earth is made up of things that happen to us. Find some verses that illustrate this point.
_ Give some ways that can help us be pulled out of our own problems so that our hearts can be fixed on the problems of others.