"Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. (St. Matthew 6:19-21 KJV)
By Teresa Lee Rainey
Iím not satisfied
Seeking worldly possessions.
Earthly wealth leaves emptiness.
True riches canít be measured.
Counting riches seemed simple enough to me. The check came in twice a month and that same money went right back out to pay the bills. The treasures attained through those bills were necessities, right? We had a roof over our heads, food on the table, adequate transportation, and current, Ďcriticalí communication devices.
When our income was greatly increased by a promotion, we praised God for our blessings. Now we could afford even greater treasures. Forget necessities! I had wants and desires. Never mind that those desires to attain bigger, greater things created bigger, greater debt.
Counting riches still seemed simple enough. More money came in. More money went right back out.
I canít justify
Hording treasures here on earth.
That joy wonít survive.
ĎHere today, gone tomorrow.í
Objects wasted when I die.
Justifying all our needs and desires came easy as well. A large and beautifully decorated home was certainly a must for entertaining. Living without the latest electronics: computers, televisions, games and cellular phones in this age of technology, would render us socially disabled. Surviving the childrenís schedules with only one vehicle would be unthinkable!
Why not simplify?
Seek only for essentials.
Try feeling content.
Find joy in simple pleasures.
Wealth used wisely is well spent.
Maybe it would be impossible to survive without a second vehicle, but with another car payment on "Momís Chrysler Pacifica", we would have been throwing any attempt at budgeting out the window.
Contentment was not the feeling that came with giving up my dream vehicle, but I must admit a joy in knowing our new attempt at budgeting was not compromised.
Can I realize?
Some treasures offer comfort
To a soul in need.
Wealth can be used in wisdom
When spent gently in good deed.
No, budgeting did not come easy. However, as we prayed and settled into a budgeting routine, we began to feel the need for an even greater leap of faith. Giving tithes was not out of the question after all.
Writing that check was extremely difficult at first. There was little comfort in realizing that our money was being used for others with greater needs than our own.
After continued prayer over our tithing decision, however, we began to reluctantly realize that what we had was not our money at all. God blessed us with all that we had, all that we had was His, and we were still keeping the majority of what He gave us.
I am satisfied
Seeking Heavenís possessions.
Godís riches bring fulfillment.
His wealth cannot be measured.
Satisfaction came slowly, in time. After many months of giving, we realized that we were in a better financial state of mind. Our budget had not changed. Our bills had not changed. Only our hearts had changed, and somehow, within that heart change, we seemed to have more than before.
God took the small portion of what we gave back to Him and poured blessings we had not even imagined over us. Our lives became rich with love, joy, peace and contentment.
I can justify
Hording treasures in Heaven.
That joy will survive.
Not today, but tomorrow
Rewards wait for me on high.
There was a certain trust that came with surrendering our money Ė I mean Godís money Ė back to Him. As we began to trust Him more, our focus changed.
Instead of looking at what treasures we could attain here on earth, we began to see ways to build our eternal treasures. Building greater relationships, witnessing, raising our children to honor God and others, and focusing on finding out what God wanted from us Ė beyond a portion of His money back Ė became our goal.
I wonít simplify.
Search always for essentials.
Never be content.
Find joy in Heavenís pleasures.
Seeking His wealth Ė time well spent.
Searching for Godís will, especially in our finances, does not always come easy. Although I now realize He will supply all our needs, our debt has not disappeared. Money still comes in and goes out in a vicious cycle, and that Chrysler Pacifica is still calling my name!
Yet, the change of focus in my heart has brought a peace I could not have imagined.
I now realize
How His treasures send comfort
To all those in need.
Wealth can be shared in knowledge
Of His precious Sonís great deed.
Heavenly Father, I just want to praise You for changing my view of treasures. I now realize that all I have is Yours and You so generously supply all my needs. You even supply many of my wants and desires.
Please help me to always remember to share in the wealth you have given, not only through offerings, but also through my words and actions. After all, how can anyone else know how wonderful You are and what you have sacrificed for us, if we donít tell them?
Teresa Lee Rainey has been in love with the written word all of her life. Her passion for writing began as soon as she could form sentences on paper. As a Christian, it is now her desire to help others grow in Christ through her stories. Teresa, along with her husband and two of their boys, were transplanted from her native home of Florida to the Nebraska plains in the spring of 2004. This move has given her time to pursue her passions and she is grateful for the time she now has as a wife, mom, friend, and inspirational author.
Sadly, this is Teresaís last column as Editor for Take it to Heart. She truly has shared Godís heart with us through her writing over the few months that she has held this role. We wish Teresa and her family every blessing as she steps into the rest of Godís plans for her life and know that she will continue to contribute to the magazine in the future. Next month our own Randy Chambers (Editor of Just Between Men) will be stepping into the role of Editor for Take it to Heart. We know that Randyís writing will be a great blessing to you.
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