Have you ever heard a story about a great buried treasure? A rag-tag group of adventurers searching for the place where “X marks the spot”? Those stories can be fun and exciting, but have you noticed that it can be common for one or more of the adventurers to become obsessed over finding the treasure? They might be thinking about it all the time, talking about it all the time… everything they do might start to become centred around their treasure! If what they are looking for is a large amount of money (or gold!), they might find themselves becoming pretty greedy.
We might not have big old maps that point the way, but Jesus points out that we all have have things that we consider to be treasures just the same. He also encourages us to think about what is important to us and consider how that affects us. “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,” He says. (Matthew 6:19-20) Then He adds, “Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.” (6:21) There is a connection between the things that are important to us and what we want out of life. What we value now sets a pattern for what we will value in the future. Jesus wants us to think about right now, but to also think about forever.
What is it that we go after the same way a greedy pirate might go after buried treasure? Is it an Xbox or an iPod or something much more meaningful? What does Jesus treasure?
* Together, read Jesus’ story of the Rich Young Ruler found in Matthew 19:16-22. How does this story make you feel? Why do you think the man in the story had a hard time doing what Jesus asked him to do? In this story Jesus talks about having “treasure in heaven”. How might this be different from what we usually think of when we hear about “treasure”?
* Go on your very own treasure hunt! If you have a GPS in your car or on your cell phone try out geocaching (GEE-oh-ca-shing) and use it as an opportunity to talk about generosity. (Visit www.geocaching.com to read more and get started.) When you geocache, you get a small treat but you also leave something for the next person to find. How do you think it feels to find the treat/treasure? How does it feel to know you’re leaving a treasure for another person to find? Which part do you like more – getting to keep something or leaving something for someone else? How could this idea be lived out when we’re not geocaching?
This Week’s Challenge:
Pray together: “Jesus please help us to treasure the things that you treasure. Help us also to treasure you in our hearts and value you and your ways above all others.” Talk about how you can help one another to do this.