Luke 11:43 (NIV): “Woe to you Pharisees, because you love the most important seats in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces.”
Luke 12:15 (NIV): Then he (Jesus) said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”
Matthew 6:19-21 (NIV): “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
I have always tried to teach my children the importance of being kind and merciful to those in our society that are less fortunate. And although I have made many mistakes as a parent, I believe that I have been successful in helping my children to be kind to and befriend those who desperately need some kindness and compassion. Over the years, I have been blessed to watch my children make friends with those of different races, nationalities, and even religious backgrounds. They have often made friendships and long lasting relationships with those who had no one else to befriend them.
I had a conversation with someone recently about church. As we talked, I noticed that this person was describing people at church in terms of their job titles or their status in the community. This person even mentioned what kind of vehicle they owned. I couldn’t help but wonder if this person’s primary objective in going to church was to be seen and to be noticed by being in the presence of “important” people. This person always talks about “important people” instead of the presence of God’s Holy Spirit during the time of worship. It makes me wonder if this person has the right priorities when it comes to worship and in their daily walk with God. Material possessions and getting ahead seem to take a higher priority than being compassionate and merciful towards others.
Jesus, when noticing how guests chose their places of honor at the table said, “But when you are invited, take the lowest place (seat or place of honor) (Luke 14:10). Being humble and considering others greater than yourself is what Jesus calls his followers to do. Throughout the Gospels, we find that Jesus spent his time around those who were less fortunate. He cared for those that society had cast aside. He had compassion on and he healed those, whom society didn’t even notice. If you call yourself a follower of Christ, you should be doing the same. Always strive to consider everyone greater than yourself. Jesus said, “Indeed there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last” (Luke 13:30).
Go out into the world and live out your calling as a Christ follower by being kind, compassionate, and merciful to those that you encounter each and every day. By doing so, you will store up for yourself “treasures in heaven” (Matthew 6:20). The good things that you do in this life that have eternal value will be rewarded in the eternal life in heaven. Are you storing up treasures on earth or treasures in heaven?