I was in Honduras involved in training church leaders and pastors shortly after hurricane Mitch devastated the country a number of years ago. One pastor in Tegucigalpa had watched as his church and the homes of his entire congregation (as well as his own) were swept down the mountainside and engulfed in a ugly pile of mud and debris. They didn’t have much before the hurricane … after it passed through, they had nothing! I watched church leaders at the conference I spoke at, arrive in beat up pickups, bicycles, or simply walking in shoe-leather we would have thrown out in the garbage. But when they worshipped, they put most of us to shame! Heavenly smiles filled their upturned faces! An abandon in the Lord’s presence characterized their praise! Song and shouts of joy and thanksgiving filled the air! They were, I think, some of the ones James was talking about when he said, “Has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him?” (James 2.5)
I reflected on all of that as I read these words of caution and perspective from Matthew 6 this morning during my time of “coffee with the Lord”…
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also… No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money” (Matthew 6.19-24)
The lesson I learned in Honduras (and other places I have ministered in the world)? There are more important things than money and possessions! Lord help me keep the “true riches” as the object of my affection and pursuit!