My son and I drew this picture the other day as we were imagining how awesome the Kingdom of Heaven will be when Jesus comes back. Yes, in this picture we can all float/fly, my son’s bike does have wings, I have long flowing hair, and my husband’s piano is tiger-striped. We’ll have to wait until Jesus comes back to see if these wildest dreams come true, but the passage today talks about some fantastic perks of belonging to the Kingdom of Heaven that we can experience now.
- V19 – “Treasures” on earth are things that can get ruined or stolen.
◊ What do I treasure (earthly or heavenly)? What would make me miserable if I lost it and never got it back?
◊ What are my “earth treasures”?
◊ What are heavenly treasures and how do I lay them up?
- V20 – First of all, heaven’s treasures can’t be ruined or stolen so they’re not “things.” They’re things money can’t buy and people can’t take. We can choose to spend our time doing things that will benefit us while we’re on earth or spend our time doing things that will bring us reward in heaven. (See chapters 5 & 6:1-18.)
◊ Does my time mostly go to things with temporary significance (or no significance at all *coughangrybirds*) or to things with eternal significance?
◊ Can my earthly treasure be not money and stuff but my kids and family? Is that bad or is that what I’ve been given to manage? I guess the question is really do I treasure them more than God and am I spending my time teaching them to be disciples?
- V21 – Whatever my heart dwells on the most is my treasure.
◊ Is anything holding my heart on earth, away from God?
- V22 – At first I thought this verse was kind of like “you are what you eat,” only “you are what you look at.” But after reading it in several versions and reading all the Study Bible notes, it seems like that’s not the case, even though that’s what makes the most sense to me since it’s sandwiched in between two verses about money and treasures – I was thinking it was continuing along the lines of how we spend our time. I’m still not entirely certain I completely understand this verse, but the way the Message translates it illuminates it a little: “If you open your eyes wide in wonder and belief, your body fills up with light. If you live squinty-eyed in greed and distrust, your body is a dank cellar.”
◊ Am I living with eyes wide open looking for God and ways to build His Kingdom or am I squinty and distrustful, doubting that heaven treasures really are worth more than earth treasures and disbelieving that building God’s Kingdom is worth my time – even more important than anything else I could spend my time doing?
- V22-23 – My Study Bible notes say “spiritual vision is our capacity to see clearly what God wants us to do and see the world from His point of view. Spiritual insight can be clouded by self-serving desires and goals. A “pure” eye is one that is fixed on God.”
- V24 – It’s interesting Jesus puts us in the position of a slave in both scenarios. Either we can spend our life working for money, or we can work for God and let Him provide for what we need…which leads us to the next verse.
◊ Who is my master? God or money/stuff? Which occupies more of my thoughts, time and efforts?
- V25 – I love this passage. God has always been faithful to provide for my family’s needs when we are being obedient to Him.
- V25 – The ESV Study Bible says that to be anxious demonstrates a lack of trust in God.
◊ What do I tend to be anxious about?
- V27 – Being anxious doesn’t make me live any longer. If I can’t add even a minute to my life, what makes me think I have control over anything else? Life, provisions, etc, all must be left in God’s hands.
◊ Do I give my anxieties to God and let Him care for them? Once I have given them to Him, do I constantly try to take them back? What a wonderful God who would write us a message that says “Don’t worry, I’ll take care of you.” Why is this so hard to do/believe?
- V30 (&26) – God loves me so much! I’m worth so much more to Him than His beautiful creations in nature. Of course He’ll take care of me!
- V30 – O you of little faith almost sounds like a nickname or an affectionate term.
◊ Is my faith growing or am I remaining a “little faith”?
- V32 – When good parents provide, kids don’t worry about where their food and clothes will come from. They have confidence that they will get what they need when they need it. We have a Great heavenly father who knows what we need.
◊ Do I have confidence that God will provide?
- V33 – Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. What does this mean? Look for Christ in action in the lives of those around you. Watch for Christ to move in others and be ready to disciple them in God’s kingdom living. Let God be king of my life and dictate my actions and words. Make the kingdom of God my primary concern! First look for God and then I won’t have to worry about my needs being met.
◊ What does seeking God’s kingdom look like for me each day? Is that top priority or is it “when/if I get to it”?
- V34 – This fits right in with “our daily bread.” It’s like Jesus says “Trust me for what you need right now. We’ll worry about tomorrow tomorrow. But at the same time it says “don’t worry” not “don’t plan.” The Message says “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow.”
◊ What is God doing right now? Is He asking me to get up and go do something Right Now?
◊ Think about why God would ask us to not focus on accumulating money and things. Why would He tell us not to worry? Is it in God’s character to tell us not to worry about something and then not come through?
Wrap up your quiet time by praying through the following questions:
Based on this passage of Scripture, what can I thank God for?
What do these verses tell me about God and His character?
Based on this passage, is there anything I need to confess to God and ask forgiveness for?
What do these verses remind me to pray for others?
What do these verses move me to pray for myself?