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Thursday, April 3, 2008

Stewardship: Where is your treasure?

This is a daily devotional provided by "TODAY IN THE WORD" a ministry of Moody Bible Institute. The devotional reading for April 1, 2008 is included here. The rest of the series can be accessed at: www.todayintheword.com

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Read: Matthew 6:19-24

Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. - Matthew 6:21
In Matthew 13:44-46, Jesus told a pair of short parables that speak to the heart of this month's study on stewardship. In the first, a man found a treasure in a field, then went and sold all he had in order to buy the field and obtain the treasure. In the second, a merchant found a perfect pearl, and he also went and sold all he had to buy it. The main lesson of both stories is the surpassing value of the kingdom of heaven. Good stewardship begins with knowing how to value what is truly valuable. Good stewardship begins by understanding that the things of this world are worthless compared to the things of God.

This is the mindset with which we approach our month's topic: We conduct our stewardship beneath the wings of the One who is worth immeasurably more than everything we are stewarding. Jesus also reminded us of this truth in the Sermon on the Mount. Our real treasure is not of this world. Earthly goods are temporary and always at risk; heavenly treasures last forever and cannot be stolen. Simple logic tells us which one is more worth pursuing and storing up. The principle is to prize what is greatest and to invest our energy and effort to acquire what really matters (vv. 19-21).

A second metaphor repeats this central idea. The “eye” is what we use to see and evaluate and choose the treasures on which we set our hearts. If we discern and strive for right priorities, we see clearly and walk in the light (vv. 22-23). Put God first, and everything else follows (v. 24).

Stewardship concerns not only money, which is often how we think of it, but also other resources such as time and energy, and other matters for which we bear responsibility, including relationships and the created world. This month we will study how to handle the people, things, and resources placed in our care or within our circle of influence as followers of Christ.

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