Living With Hope Part II

My, Devotion to Him #290

4. Our Hope should be in Heaven and not fixed on Earthly Treasures.

In Matthew 6:19-21 Jesus tells us to lay up our treasures in heaven and not to be concerned with the material things of our world. How do we lay up treasures in heaven? By fasting, prayer, obedience and through good works. People seem to have a hard time understanding this concept and it’s not always on them. Some churches make this difficult during explanation time. But as you open a bank account on earth you do the same when saved. As you deposit your check into a savings account the same is done during your walk with God. The fasting, prayer time, obedience to Him and His Word, when you minister (this includes everything! Not only preaching or door to door ministry as some make it seem. These are very important and critical but ministry also includes mowing the church lawn, cleaning the toilets, making food for a family who lost a family member, help on a church work day, helping in a VBS, etc.) It is in our growth, walk, and ministry/service that we are essentially depositing money into a heaven savings account. Now don’t go thinking that the more you do the more you will deposit because He knows the heart and the motives behind all actions. Yes, even doing something good doesn’t always mean it’s good if the motive in heart is wrong. Sadly that portion might not be taught as much as it should. Whatever we do should never be about what we will get in return (peoples approval, some weird higher status in a church, better treasure in heaven, more blessings from God) It should always be about God. The Bible itself calls for giving. Not to reward us for it because that is a side effect of doing such. Instead the Bible calls for it because it rightfully belongs to Him and doing so because we want to. 

These types of funds are used not only to compensate the minister, and allow the ministry to continue on, but to help minister to people because someone once ministered to us and the gospel found its way to our heart and thus we want to spread that same good news. We should want to help those that are hurting and in need as we are able because as followers of Christ we need to recognize that this was one of Jesus’ top priorities and thus it should be on our hearts to not only follow His footsteps but show compassion, mercy, and love to those in need. We should want to help the church out with work projects big or small because it is God’s house, He is our Father and we need to show respect for His house and His things. None of this is free. It cost something to someone.

5. Avoid situations that could compromise you and your Christian principles.

In Matthew 6:22-23 Jesus tells us that the eye is the lamp of the body and to make sure you do not put yourself into a position where you are tempted by evil. 

Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 11:2-4 to avoid all occasions of sin. Paul also tells us in Philippians 4:8 to meditate on good and not evil.

6. There is NO serving two masters!

Verse Passage: Matthew 6:24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” – NIV

Jesus reminds us that we cannot serve two masters. We either love one and hate the other or visa versa. Jesus is emphasizing here the importance of 

valuing the right things and not possessions and money. Sometimes, I think many people find it hard to live a life of hope and peace because they actually might be serving two different masters and its literally splitting them in half. There has to be a commitment when choosing to follow Christ. We will find the walk with Him ever more difficult and not grand as everyone makes it out to be if we at the same time have our minds focused on the things of this world. Yes, stuff is nice to have but don’t let “stuff” control you. Don’t let time have reign over you. Don’t let money be the driving factor of your life. We have to make a commitment to God and fully jump in and remain. If your dating or married or have a best friend then you spend time with them and your relationship wouldn’t work if you weren’t fully committed to that relationship. If you spent time with your boyfriend/girlfriend but other times chose to hang out with another girl or boy then things might not work out. Or if your married and choose to spend quality time with someone else and never really put the work into your marriage it won’t last. If you have a best friend but don’t talk to them or don’t spend time with them then that special bond between “best friends” might not be so special. You can’t serve, want, and desire the things this world has to offer and still think you can have the best possible relationship with Christ. Christ should never be second place in your life and the world won’t accept second either. We must make a choice who will have our heart. Your relationship with Christ will be strengthen (not always made easier) when we commit to Him. The world will be angry and jealous and Satan will do all he can to tempt you to come back. But we will see our relationship with Christ evolve into something stronger, deeper, and more intimate once we decide to truly give Him full reign. 

7. Do not worry over the things of this world.

Verse Passage: Matthew 6:25-34 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” – NIV

Jesus reminds us not to worry over the things of this world but to rest in the knowledge that our heavenly father will meet our needs. Paul tells us in Colossians 3:2 to set our minds on the things above and not on the things of this world. 

One of the hardest things to do in this life is not worry. I know that for a fact. Worry I believe is one of the hardest things to break connection with. It’s so easy to see things on tv or in person that makes you start to worry. Sometimes what we read or hear about can instantly bring worry to the forefront of our minds. This is not from God. He does not want you to worry. This use to be a problem for me. Good grief I could check the bank a hundred times a day, write a budget out and have money left over and still worry. Because of the unknown. I wouldn’t know if everything was okay because tomorrow could still bring something I hadn’t planned for. Was my job secure? Would a random bill present itself. I couldn’t keep this up. It took time but worry is rare now. This is not to make myself seem any better. Worry is a common things amongst all the people in the world. But we have a chance to change that. This is not a forever issue that we have to deal with. God wants us to know that He will provide for all our needs (sometimes we think that means our wants) It takes us making that step and giving our life to Him (not salvation wise). It takes us telling God that our worries are His now. We will take that step of faith and put our full trust in Him. We will let Him be the provider that His Word says He is. We are taking Him at His Word. There is a whole different feeling when worry is not a constant thought. There is a sense of peace, relaxation and ultimately a sense that a heavy burden has been lifted off. Trust me there is more clarity, more happiness, more peace, more restoration when we take that step to give every single worry to God and let Him provide, advise, and guide our life. 

There is hope within this walk. There is hope within our relationship with Christ. There is true life and meaningful living when we decide to takes steps of faith based in Him. 

God bless!

Copyright © 2022 by Jacob Olinger

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