Buried Treasure

Lord, in all ways You are faithful and I want to live fully for You! At times, I struggle to keep You first, to honor You, and I allow worldly treasure to consume me. Help me to use my resources for the benefit of others and to help others see You. May my eyes be set upon the riches of Your Kingdom not of this Earth.

Series Focus: “Eyes to See and Ears to Hear”

Why can’t I? Relentlessly asking my parents over and over. Begging and pleading for what I believed my happiness depended upon. Never fully accepting the answer was “no” and often taking the disagreement to the next level. Anyone else? The “no” always had something do to with my age, my ability, my level of responsibility or even my past choices. Whether it was getting a puppy, having a phone in my room, staying out late, or getting the keys to the car — they had to weigh what was best for me in each situation. Fair or not, in my eyes, my mom and dad knew me well, and they could not often be deterred by my persuasive arguments. I could come up with some creative reasons for getting my way, but I sometimes wandered in my commitment to stay the course. I was about living in the moment — not so much thinking all aspects through. Sound familiar to you? I sure hope I am not the only one. Turns out they did know better, (most of the time), and for that I was spared many a dark consequence.

What could be so valuable – in the moment – that we are willing to give up anything just to have it? Even if our intentions are good, we can stumble and fall from what is best if we take our eyes off the treasure at hand. Sometimes that treasure not only falls by the wayside, but gets buried under a pile of unfulfilled promises. Worldly treasures come and go, but there is something much more valuable to hold fast to. Let’s take a look at the parable Jesus taught in Luke 16:

He also said to the disciples, “There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was wasting his possessions. And he called him and said to him, ‘What is this that I hear about you? Turn in the account of your management, for you can no longer be manager.’ And the manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do, since my master is taking the management away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. I have decided what to do, so that when I am removed from management, people may receive me into their houses.’ So, summoning his master’s debtors one by one, he said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’He said, ‘A hundred measures of oil.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’ Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ He said, ‘A hundred measures of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’ The master commended the dishonest manager for his shrewdness. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light. And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous wealth, so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal dwellings.
This parable is known as the Unjust Steward. A steward is someone who is put in charge of handling the affairs of another, we might call him a manager. Now, at first glance, we see the rich man reprimanding the steward for mishandling his resources. The manager was not taking good care in the business dealings he made on his boss’s behalf. The boss gives the warning that the steward will be fired and that he better get all of his affairs in order. The steward figures out a way to “save face” with those he is doing business with by lowering their debt. In doing this he secures for himself a safe place for future help if he so needs it. You would think at this point the boss would call him out for the dishonest act — but no! The rich man commends him for his shrewdness. Most of the parables have a good guy somewhere in them but I struggle to find one here. We know Jesus does not condone foul play or any type of shady dealings so how do we make sense of this at all? Let’s take a look at the next few verses and who was in the audience when Jesus told this story.

“One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own? No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all these things, and they ridiculed  him. And he said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.”

The disciples were the target audience but Jesus knew there were Pharisees in the crowd listening to Him teach. The Pharisees held high opinions of themselves and practiced righteousness before men. It wasn’t a secret as the scripture states, the Pharisees were lovers of money. You see, Jesus, is more concerned with us understanding the value of our eternal riches. That is, being a child of God and residing in Heaven with Him! I pray we won’t spend our time on earth, mimicking the Pharisees in such ways as hoarding wealth, boasting about our good deeds, thinking we are better than others, making sure everyone knows just how good we are, or by choosing to value the worldly treasures while burying our faith in a mound of rubble.  God knows your heart. He can see through the facade of humility and self-righteousness. If we want to be found faithful and trustworthy with much treasure we must be faithful and trustworthy with little. Let’s open that treasure chest and use our resources and giftedness for others while we are on this earth. Let’s pray for one another and rejoice that God is a faithful and just God! May we always know what is truly valuable to Him. Our unrelenting, intentional, and personal seeking of His Kingdom. Our treasure is found in Heaven.

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rustdestroy 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. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Holding Fast to Hope,

Scripture References: Luke 16:1-15; Proverbs 10:2; Matthew 6:19-21; 1 Corinthians 1:9; Matthew 6:33


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