Jesus said, "Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." (Matthew 6:21 (NIV)
It's a circle. Our treasure follows our greatest love. And we grow to love what we treasure most. The context of Jesus' simple statement is this: Jesus has just said not to store up treasure on earth, which is temporary and can be stolen, but rather store up treasure in heaven, which lasts forever and cannot be taken from us.
We tend to be concrete people. One of our culture's wise sayings (thank you, Ben Franklin) is: "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush." We tend to value material things. Eternity is far-off and we're not sure exactly what it will be like. Life here and now demands our attention and captures our passion.
One way of taking inventory of our spiritual vitality is to take stock of what we treasure. Evangelist Billy Graham once said, "Give me five minutes with a person's checkbook, and I will tell you where their heart is." A simple way of gauging the level of our commitment to Christ who died for me is to look at where I am investing my time and money. Which cost me more this year, my vacation or my giving to my church? My investment in time spent on my hobby or on serving others?
Some things are worth great sacrifice. The greatest thing is worth sacrificing everything else. There's a line in the old song, I Have Decided to Follow Jesus, that says, "Take the whole world, but give me Jesus." He is the priceless One who is worth all that I am and all that I have.
Life is not about houses and cars and clothing and cruises. None of our earthly possessions or passions will go with us into eternity. Only what is done for God and His Kingdom will last.
Is God offended if I have a hobby or a nice car or take a vacation? No. The things themselves are not offensive or immoral. But if my heart is turned toward fulfillment by having stuff and enjoying life without loving God and loving others, then the things I treasure become a trap that imprisons my soul and keeps me from the highest and best life I can live in Christ.
The one thing Jesus refuses to allow us to make Him is some kind of value added to the things in our lives we truly treasure. The One who died in my place to pay the penalty for my sin is worth everything. Question is: do I live like it?
Take the whole world, but give me Jesus. He is more than enough.