For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
When I was a teenager, I traveled with my church’s youth group on a short-term missionary trip to Guatemala. Visiting a third-world country was an eye-opening experience for me because I saw poverty like never before. Some of the people lived in tents or under sheets of cardboard on the grounds of the local dump. Throughout the day, families tried to salvage food scraps from someone else’s thrown away food.
At one point on the trip we had to hike up some steep and rugged terrain. We hiked in order to get to a very small village where we were scheduled to conduct a worship service for the people there. We were greeted with smiles and warmly welcomed into the village. As we approached the church building, it looked like a small cement shed with a flimsy metal roof. The windows were open to air and the dirt floor was covered with a carpet of freshly picked pine needles.
We were told that as soon as the villagers heard we were coming for a visit, they all went out into the surrounding area that morning and picked pine needles off of the trees by hand. They worked together and collected all of the pine needles to be used for our “carpet.” I was deeply moved by this loving and kind gesture. They didn’t have to cover the dirt floor but they wanted it to be special for us.
We continued on with the worship service and sang praise and worship songs to Jesus and shared a message from the Bible. We also shared personal testimonies of the great things that God had done for us. Near the end of the service, I looked down and to my right was a beautiful Guatemalan woman who was weeping. She had her face buried in the pine needles and was crying out a prayer of thanks to God for everything that He had done for her. She had a joyful expression on her face and it was clear that these were not tears of sorrow but of joy!
At that moment, the Spirit of God spoke to my heart and said the words, “true riches.” God was saying that though this woman was poor according to the world’s standards, she was rich. I couldn’t hold back the tears when I observed how grateful she was with so little and felt ashamed at my own lack of gratitude, having so much. I returned home as a youth very changed from these experiences and the impact has remained with me throughout my entire life.
The Bible talks about riches too. They are treasures that money can not buy. The spiritual treasures are things like love, wisdom, knowledge and understanding. The Bible says that when we gain the riches of wisdom, it is far greater than gaining the wealth of the world (Proverbs 3:13). Wisdom helps us to know how to live as God pours out His blessings into our lives.
Material wealth loses its value because the things that we buy eventually fall apart or may be stolen by thieves. The treasures that we have in Jesus can never be taken away from us and they never lose their value. In 1st Corinthians 1:5, it says, “For in Him (in Jesus) you have been enriched in every way…with all knowledge.” As we get to know Jesus intimately, He gives us an abundance of riches and we become very wealthy.
God loves you deeply. He created you for relationship with Himself. He wants You to join yourself with Him, and get to know Him and His love for you. He wants to pour out His riches on you! When we get to know Jesus in a personal way, God reveals knowledge about Himself and reveals His love to us. In Jesus, we have abundant wealth that never dies.
It is my hope and prayer that you too will have “true riches.”
(c) 2020 ELICIA ROY