Skip to main content

Renovation 101

“Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be." (Matthew 6:19-21 NLT)
Where are your treasures? What is it you treasure most in life? If you were to look around your home today, what one thing would you say means the most to you? Although I have all kinds of things I have acquired from friends, family, and special finds down through the years, I'd have to say none of those really are my treasures. In fact, I'd probably say the only true treasures I have are those who fill the house with me - my family. Jesus never had much in the way of earthly wealth from what we can see recounted in scripture. He probably came from a "run-of-the-mill", working class family - regular home, furnishings, and the like. He didn't dress opulently, nor did he have countless herds or flocks that would have made him the wealthiest man in town. He DID surround himself with people - those whose lives enriched his and whose needs tugged at his heart.
My pastor often reminds us of the importance of focus - for what we focus upon will the very thing we spend all of our time moving toward. When our treasures are things, wealth, or career, our friends and family will suffer. We just cannot focus on so much and expect all of the things or relationships to remain constant. Something will always take backseat. This is why Jesus reminds us to get our focus right in the first place - so whatever gravitates to the backseat isn't going to interfere with what needs to be front and center in our lives. The things we give our attention to will eventually flourish - maybe not at first, but in the long run they will begin to show deep signs of growth and development.
We live in a time when it is easy to get distracted by the things all around us and totally miss the tremendous blessing we have right in front of us. Family and friends are often put into the backseat in our pursuit of something "more important", but I'd have to challenge us on that focus. There is nothing more important than the relationships we have been given. Yes, we have been given these blessings - we didn't earn them, buy them, or create them. They were divinely provided and the need to be divinely maintained! Jobs can be lost and found - the blessings we are given in each other, once lost, are hard to rebuild! I have seen people lose it all in light of how the world sees them - career, financial security, and even their homes. Yet, they stand strong, vibrant, and totally resilient because they don't stand alone - they have family and friends at their side.
I don't know how Jesus does it, but when we put him first (as our primary focus), he helps us maintain balance in our relationships and somehow it works. It isn't a "divided focus", but it is the ability to focus on what matters most that Jesus is after in our lives. Why? So our hearts won't steer us toward things that don't really provide fulfillment. Have I always had the right focus in life? No! Have I always kept the right priority to things in terms of family and career? No! Was Jesus able to restore what I lost in that time when I got my focus wrong? Yes, but it the work of restoration almost always comes at a higher cost than we might imagine. If you have ever thought about doing a little restoration work in your home you know what happens. At first, it looks simply like we are going to remove the old and put in the new. In actuality, when we remove the old, there are multiplied "unknown" issues that arise. What was neglected for so long created an abundance of unrecognized issues that we now have to deal with. What was going to be a "short" renovation process becomes a major "redo"! It would be much better to have been paying attention all along, working diligently to keep things in order. Just sayin!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The bobby pin in the electrical socket does what???

Avoidance is the act of staying away from something - usually because it brings some kind of negative effect into your life.  For example, if you are a diabetic, you avoid the intake of high quantities of simple sugars because they bring the negative effect of elevating your blood glucose to unhealthy levels.  If you were like me as a kid, listening to mom and dad tell you the electrical outlets were actually dangerous didn't matter all that much until you put the bobby pin into the tiny slots and felt that jolt of electric current course through your body! At that point, you recognized electricity as having a "dangerous" side to it - it produces negative effects when embraced in a wrong manner.  Both of these are good things, when used correctly.  Sugar has a benefit of producing energy within our cells, but an over-abundance of it will have a bad effect.  Electricity lights our path and keeps us warm on cold nights, but not contained as it should be and it can produce …

Period!

When someone tells you that you need to wrap your mind around some concept, they are telling you that the subject at hand will take some effort on our part to actually get enough of a hint of it in order to even remotely understand it. The subject is complex, even a little overwhelming, and we will have to apply ourselves to really grasp it very well. We cannot wrap our minds around God's wisdom and knowledge - because it is infinite and our brains are sadly finite. We can only 'think' so far and then we have to 'trust'. Some of us think there is nothing we can trust if we cannot 'think' it through, but this will never work when it comes to our faith. Faith requires trust in what is unseen and not fully comprehended. The truth we believe is really building our trust, but until we approach God with more trust than 'thought', we will never fully grasp some of the things he has prepared for us.

We cannot wrap our minds around God’s wisdom and knowledge…

Noticed by grace

Stop and notice life around you from time to time - you might just be surprised by what you observe!
Sometimes we miss the "little things" in life. I guess I am as guilty of "glossing over" stuff as the next person. I wonder how much I really miss out on because I never stop long enough, listen close enough, or draw close enough to really "catch" what is happening? There are times when life passes us by at break-neck speed, or perhaps we are passing it by at that insane speed! Slow down, listen a little, get in touch with things and people around you. Notice stuff - it might just blow your mind!

I spelled out your character in detail to the men and women you gave me. They were yours in the first place; then you gave them to me, and they have now done what you said. They know now, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that everything you gave me is firsthand from you, for the message you gave me, I gave them; and they took it, and were convinced that I came fro…