Did we miss the rest of the Lessons of the 20th Century Series? Not at all! Now that your hosts are back from vacation, we will be running both series together for some variety. You can use the categories to help you navigate between them.
Our desire here at the Hope Canteen is to serve up spiritual nourishment to help you grow in your life of faith. Our spiritual life is about answering the big questions and finding ways to live with integrity in light of them. As Christians, we believe that we have found those answers in Jesus Christ. But faith is only the beginning of our journey! Jesus calls us to follow him and be disciples.
Treasure in Heaven: Biblical Foundations
In previous articles, I talked about the Biblical image of being a Royal Priesthood as a way to help us understand the deeper meaning of discipleship. In this new series, I want to take that image further and go into detail about how we exercise our Royal Priesthood. We will do this by reflecting on Jesus’ metaphor of storing up for ourselves treasure in Heaven.
Jesus uses this image several times in the Gospels. In one story (Mark 10: 17-22), he tells a rich young man to sell his goods and give the money to the poor. Instead of having treasure on earth, he will have treasure in heaven. In the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 6: 19-34), Jesus tells his disciples not to be anxious about the same things the world worries about, like gathering earthly wealth. Rather they should be focusing on the Kingdom of God. He says, “Seek first the kingdom of God, and all of those other things will be provided as well.”
What Drives You?
Jesus uses the word ‘treasure’ as a symbol of what is most important in your life. It is also a helpful way to ‘diagnose’ the condition of your heart. It answers the question: what drives you? As Jesus says in the Gospel of Luke (12:34), “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” This is the real key: to be a follower of Jesus is ultimately to be all in, to build our whole life around Jesus and his vision of the Kingdom of God for the world. This is what we mean by putting God at the centre of our lives.
Taking Our Calling Seriously
To store up treasures in Heaven means to work for eternal things, the things of God. It means growing a passionate commitment to loving God and loving others. It is about taking seriously our calling as a Royal Priesthood focused on worshiping God and being people of blessing to the world.
The Real Meaning of Treasure
It is important to note here that Treasures in Heaven does not mean actual treasure that you receive after you die. In this case, Heaven doesn’t mean the afterlife; it means the Kingdom of God that Jesus announces. Our Treasure in Heaven is God himself. It is to know oneself as a child of God. It is to be a contributing member of the kingdom. To put all of this together, to store up Treasure in Heaven is to live a life dedicated to the work of the Kingdom of God.
The Treasure in Heaven Series: Looking Ahead
How do we do that? In this new series, we will reflect on the basic tools that guide the Christian life. We will look at what Jesus calls ‘the weightier matters of the law: justice, mercy and faith.” We will then look at the Ten Commandments and what they teach us about living a kingdom life. Then we will look at the petitions of the Lord’s Prayer and how they guide our lives. We will reflect on our Baptismal Covenant, first looking at the Apostles’ Creed and reflecting on how this ancient statement faith gives us the vision of the Kingdom of God. Then, we will look at the insights we gain for our Christian lives from the six promises we make in Baptism.
In between these reflections, we will insert INTERLUDES. These interludes will look at practical Christian practices and point to spiritual resources we can use. The idea of practices is that, while the values of Jesus’ kingdom are gifts given by God (love, faith, joy, peace, generosity, righteousness, etc.), these gifts are not given in their fullness. We are called to grow into the maturity of these gifts, and we do that through daily practice. As I have said before, the most important thing is not how much you do, but rather that you just show up everyday. This is one way we store up Treasure in Heaven.
- Walk by Faith / Walk Humbly with Your God
- What Does it Mean to Store Up Treasure in Heaven?
- Living by Faith
- What Love Looks Like