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Where Do You Store Your Faith?

In Matthew 6:21 Jesus says, "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." I would translate this in our modern 21st century language as, "Where your faith is stored will determine what you define as important." Just prior to Jesus's statement, he says: "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal." (Matthew 6:19-20) This I would translate as, "Material things matter less to God and His purpose for you than what you do for His Kingdom and the faith you put in it."

This is easier said than done, however, for individuals as they grow but especially for those of us that have family that we are concerned about as well. As parents we worry about the security of our children's education and put our faith in the savings we build to establish that. We put out faith into work or the people that help us secure our homes and our futures. We put our faith in the economy and governments and hope that they will take care of us. We put our faith in ourselves as we believe that if we will just work hard enough, we can make sure we have what we need. All the while, as we store our faith in these worldly things, we are sacrificing time with God and the promises He gives us as we dwell in Him.

The thing is, God wants us to have a good life and to build a good life for ourselves. He wants us to give our children a good educations and to have a safe, nice place to live and money in the bank to have all we need! God, however, wants us to do so while leaning in and taking that step to seek Him first. After all, Jesus goes on to say in Matthew 6:33, "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."This is what He intends for us over all else. So what God really is asking us to put our trust in, is this love affair that we are to have with Him and make that the repository of our security; make that the place that we invest for security and assurance that really goes beyond material, but does not simply disregard the material thing we do indeed seek. This is because God knows that those material things will fade, just as Jesus warned us, and our relationship with God will last forever. So the question is, how do we do this in our families, while helping our children to know and understand by our actions that God is with them and they can rely on Him for their own security?

What this ultimately comes down to is diligence and intentionality of spending time with God in order to begin forming strong relationships with Him; not just a Sunday morning, go to church, but an actual life long day-to-day relationship. When we lean into worldly, material things so much that we are disregarding the one thing God is asking us to do in the above verses, we are really showing that we are not seeking His kingdom FIRST. We are, instead, seeking first all the things the world tells us to seek and once that doesn't work, we are maybe going back to God for Him to iron out our lives. When we are at home, we need to take the time to diligently seek Him and acknowledge that while these things might be important (and they definitely are. We all need food on the table and a safe place to live), our relationship with God which will in the end secure all those other important things; must be first and foremost. It's truly about time, but it's also about our intentions and intentionality in making God and His Kingdom first. When we do this, if we have families, we are also teaching them that God is important that that all good things come from Him.

We can get so caught up in all those things we think we should be doing, and they are at times even things God wants us to be doing, that we forget to leave time in our mental space to invite God in and to take time to realize and understand that God is behind all of those good things. We need to let our kids and ourselves know that taking time to worship and pray to God is crucial to acknowledging that God is over all. We also want to communicate the feeling that God's got this; that we are really okay. We can unintentionally sometimes send out the vibe that life is really overwhelming and that things might never catch up and these are things others around us can really pick up on; so, we really want to create an understanding of God being in the midst and taking that pressure we bear off a great deal. His yoke is easy and His burden is light.

This really begins to drive us into that old Sunday School lesson we all have heard about the Holy Sabbath Rest and how we think that is really just one day out of the week. In actuality, however, we can rest in God throughout each of our days and bring everything to Him first because His intention has never been for us to figure it all our on our own, but to be in a partnership with us. That's why what God asks of us, what He's always asked of us from the First Commandment on, is to put Him first; and when we do that, everything else will fall into place!

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