Monday, October 15, 2012

Treasure Chest (Wealth, Part 2)

...Part 2 of Wealth

Now about another parent and child. Mary is this teenaged girl. She has met an angel who told her she’s going to give birth to the Messiah, conceived by nothing less than the Holy Spirit of God in her womb. She sings a powerful worship song about the greatness of God, the Mighty One who has done and will do great things. 

She finally gives birth to this Anointed One of God, with the sky ripping open in front of some shepherds and angels singing and the shepherds coming and seeing this little Holy Family and then running off to tell the good news of this newborn King. 

And what is Mary’s reaction to all this? But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart (Luke 2:19). The scene could easily have ended with the shepherds going off to tell everyone what happened. But Luke chooses to come back one more time for a close-up on Mary treasuring up this holy moment.

Time passes. Mary raises this Messiah, Jesus. Do you think she ever stops encountering God, ever gives up singing her worship songs? Or do you think maybe she watches this child of hers grow and is constantly amazed to watch God work in and through him? She likely even teaches and models for Jesus what it is to live a life of worship. Maybe he notices her periodically stopping and taking something in, treasuring up God’s greatness and pondering God’s mighty works in her heart. She teaches him that every moment is sacred, every step part of a holy journey. He should treasure up the wonderful things he sees God doing and ponder them in his heart. This is what it is to live a life of devotion, a life in the company of the invisible God. 
This is worship.

Then Jesus steps out and begins his public ministry, working miracles and teaching and preaching about God’s kingdom. And what is one of the first and primary things he teaches?  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 (Matthew 6:19-21).
This is worship.

How is your worship life? What do you treasure? They are so connected as to be basically one and the same. We all have our preferences for style of music and wanting a worship service to be interesting and memorable. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But if you can’t worship no matter what, can't thrill at the treasures of God no matter how they're presented, then your treasure may be in the wrong place…and so your heart may be in the wrong place.

True worship is the result of treasuring up God throughout our week and throughout our lives. True worship is the result of pondering God in our hearts and expressing how much we value the Lord. It’s actually the very definition: “worship” comes from worthscipe, God's “worth-ship" and worthiness of praise and honor and glory.

My heart breaks for a generation that has not been taught this as Mary taught her son Jesus, for a generation that has been taught “if you’re not getting anything out of worship, go somewhere else or just stay home.” It never dawns on such a one that the problem is that their heart is an empty treasure chest.

If your life could be opened as a treasure chest, 
what would be inside?

So how about your treasure chest… If your life could be opened as a treasure chest, what would be found inside? What is it you treasure and seek after? Where is your heart? Do you ever watch for God and even join God in what he is doing all around you? Do you ever pause for a moment to treasure up something and ponder it in your heart? 

Or have the moths destroyed some worship high you once had that you keep chasing? Have the thieves of worldliness come in and stolen your joy over worldly treasure, so that there just never seems to be enough? If there are children in your life, what are you teaching them to treasure…what are you teaching them to worship?

Now is the moment to begin filling your treasure chest with the things of God. There are many treasures all around you every day—moments that, millions of years from now, will still glisten like precious gems. This is treasure. This is life. 
This is worship.

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