My friend and colleague Jeff Loach told a story about Ray Stedman, a pastor from the 20th century. It’s one of those stories that helps us gain some perspective about priorities.
Stedman flew to a town for a speaking engagement but the airline lost his luggage. Those were the days when preachers didn’t speak without a suit. Since the airline lost his luggage, he didn’t have his suit and wasn’t sure what to do.
Someone was able to get him a suit at the last minute. He put it on but noticed that there were no pockets. Why not? Because it was obtained from the local funeral home! Since “you can’t take it with you,” the casket suit didn’t have any pockets.*
Recall Jesus’ words in Matthew 6:19-21: “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. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Think about your favourite things. What are they? “Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens?”** Perhaps. What about a fancy house, the latest gadget, an impressive social media profile, or clothes or cars that make other people turn their heads?
When your heartbeat goes so do your things.
A man with no pockets in his suit reminds me of Jesus’ words. Let’s prioritize and “store up” things that will last.
Like faith. Is your life organized to store up the riches of faith, or to squander them?
“For where your treasure is, there you heart will be also.”
–The Up Devotional is published 5 days a week (Monday-Friday) and returns on May 31.
–**This is a line from “My Favorite Things,” written by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II from The Sound of Music.
–Bible quotes are from the NIV.