What Do You Treasure?

"For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also," Jesus told his hearers (Matthew 6:21). These words are deceptively profound. They speak to something that goes to the very core of scriptural Christianity, but something that also goes against our habits of mind.

It's easy to think of treasure as just having to do with material resources and the context seems to support this conclusion. In Matthew 6:24, Jesus says, "You cannot serve God and wealth," and off we go with ethical reflections about money. But money is not Jesus' primary concern. His first concern is the heart. If we don't get squared away on our understanding of the heart, we'll never figure out the money thing. So, as I often encourage, let's back up and go over this ground again.

Notice from other scriptures how characteristically Jesus draws attention back to the heart and away from the topic that started the conversation. To scribes and Pharisees from Jerusalem who had questioned his loyalty to Israel's...

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