Prepare to listen. Quietly pause and prepare to receive the Word, believing God’s words, When they call to me, I will answer them; I will be with them in trouble, I will rescue them and honor them. (Psalm 91:15)
Read Matthew 6:16-21
16‘And whenever you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces so as to show others that they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. 17But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18so that your fasting may be seen not by others but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. 19‘Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; 20but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
‘For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.’ In Scripture, heart is a big word, referring to the center of personality; it’s the organ “by which we know the world altogether” (Ellen Davis). Heart is what matters most in biblical thinking because only when the heart is right will our living be right. We’re not automatically given a heart that is perfect, in no need of shaping. Heart, that is a good heart, a good personality, is something we acquire through disciplined training and practice.
Spiritual practices such as giving to the poor, praying and fasting are necessary since they align our hearts aright so we lay up our treasure in the right place, a place that helps us avoid worrying about it because we know nothing will happen to it. Where our treasure is will also shapes our heart, that is our character, toward God or away from God.
Where is your treasure and therefore your heart?
Respond to Jesus in prayer
Teach me Lord to lay up treasure for the sake of your name and your glory rather than my own. I commit to practicing those disciplines that align my heart and keep me moving in the right the direction towards you. Amen.
Go and live obediently in the world, storing your treasure where it can’t perish.
Reading the Bible has always been essential to followers of Jesus. I've been reading, studying, teaching and writing reflections on biblical texts for as long as I can remember. I invite you to read the Bible with me during the Lent and into Easter Sunday.