The desires of your heart
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul? Matthew 16:24-26
In this age of materialism, there are those that tend to become abnormally preoccupied in accumulating material wealth. Though this is not new anymore for materialism is so universal in one form or another. From the text, the Lord Jesus Christ raised a penetrating question to His disciples as to the purpose of why they follow Him. There are those that will follow Him only because of what they think they can get from Him. There are others that will follow Him on their own terms. Yet, the Lord Jesus Christ declared that only those who will follow Him on His terms are the ones who will be His disciples. This is why He admonished His disciples to deny oneself and to live their lives without a strand of self-centeredness. Devotion is focused on Christ alone. Focusing on riches alone and acquiring the wealth of the world will not be enough to save the human soul. Earning wealth is not bad as long as it was attained honorably and by the will of God and will be used to further God’s glory and His kingdom. Jesus was not telling His disciples to deprive themselves of the opportunity to be blessed materially but that they are prepared to let go of anything that will compete of their devotion on God. The measure of wealth is not based on how much we have materially here in this side of eternity but the treasures we have stored and kept in heaven. “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal” (Matthew 6:19-20). The Lord Jesus Christ left His wealth and glory so He could provide salvation to those that will place their faith and trust in Him. “You know the generous grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty he could make you rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9). If you will spend your entire energy in pursuing the things of this world you will lose the total purpose why God let you have life in this world. Do not allow your heart to focus on life here and now but on the life to come. “Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be” (Matthew 6:21). Great riches are found in having a right relationship with God.
Noel De Guzman