"Don't store up treasures here on earth where they can erode away or may be stolen. Store them in heaven where they will never lose their value, and are safe from thieves. If your profits are in heaven your heart will be there too.
"If your eye is pure, there will be sunshine in your soul. But if your eye is clouded with evil thoughts and desires, you are in deep spiritual darkness. And oh, how deep that darkness can be!
"You cannot serve two masters: God and money. For you will hate one and love the other, or else the other way around." Matthew 6: 19-24 (TLB)
The Lord says: Cursed is the man who puts his trust in mortal man and turns his heart away from God.....
But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord and has made the Lord his hope and confidence. Jeremiah 17: 5,7 (TLB)
Barney Cargile III is from California. Standing in the marketplace of ancient Megiddo in Israel, Barney closed his eyes and imagined the swirl of activity occurring on this spot three thousand years earlier. Once considered the jewel of northern Israel, the location hosted Solomon's stables and Ahab's winter palace. Merchants would have been hawking their wares, politicians debating hot topics, children playing among the booths. Barney opened his eyes to scan the ruins of what had been a great cultural center. He surveyed the crumbling pillars and piles of rock, awestruck by the contrast of then and now. The greatest treasures earth offers will someday crumble, including any "empires" Barney attempts to build.
In today's quoted scripture, the prophet declares that relying on what is temporal results in disaster. When we seek security in our wealth, career, or intelligence, we will fail. However, trusting in God promises an enriching life of blessing, delivering us from misguided dependence on current culture. Nothing our world offers will last - not power, prosperity, or popularity. Everything, everyone, is destined to wither and fade. When we look to this world for fulfillment, we live with uncertainty; but we can always rely on God. Knowing and loving God by loving others - these "things" will continue through eternity and never crumble.
Prayer: Dear God, empower us to focus our hearts on you, not on the "crumbling Empires" around us, in Jesus' name. Amen.