“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
–Matthew 6:19-21 (NIV)

When you were a child, you may have dreamed about finding buried treasure. I went on a few treasure hunts myself, but I always came home empty-handed. To make matters worse, things like this happened many times back then.

It is sad to say that as adults, many people are still searching for elusive treasure. They might not get a shovel and dig in their backyards, but many people are obsessed with owning a bigger house, obtaining a larger car, or making more money. In order to see what I mean, all you have to do is take a look at folks whose money is their god. When the Great Depression hit, you would hear the same story over and over. Since their money was now worthless, many people believed the only answer was to end it all, and so they jumped out of buildings or through windows.

You might be thinking, “Tim, this doesn’t apply to me. I can barely keep my head above water.” But let me ask you one question: Have you ever said, “If I could only own that, I would be happy?” I think we’ve all said this to ourselves at least once. But setting your sights on material treasures will only make you thirst for something else later.

Think about the woman at the well with me. Jesus told her that if she only drank natural water, she would surely thirst again. The principle is the same today. If material things are your only satisfaction, then you will always be wanting more soon enough.

While there is nothing wrong with getting anĀ  occasional new upgrade on your phone, or buying something new when an old appliance wears out, you will not find fulfillment in bigger and better things. Next year, when the new phone models or appliances are released in stores, you’ll have to have the latest and greatest device again.

True and lasting treasure, my friends, can only be found in Jesus, the embodiment of truth. So put Christ on, like you would slip on a warm jacket in cold weather. You can do this if you live a Christ-focused life, and stay in the Word, prayer and fellowship.

I’ve been told that the giant redwood trees in California have endured for hundreds of years because they have a vast root system. Drawing upon the water of the Word is one way we need to allow ourselves to be nourished by Christ. Find some time to read and contemplate some Bible scripture every day. Remember that if you draw closer to God, He will come closer to you.

Prayer can also aid us in our quest. True prayer is not just a monologue in which we ask things of God. It is a dialogue in which we hear from and speak to God.

The last component we’ve listed is fellowship with other believers. Another reason for the redwood trees’ endurance is because their root systems are intertwined. Rather than being isolated people who go our own way, God wants to dwell in love and harmony with us and within us. Like the redwood trees, He wants our root systems to be intertwined, through prayer and bearing one another’s burdens. If we keep our eyes on Jesus, we can keep eternal treasure our central priority.

The great missionary Jim Elliot said, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” So when you see something that you’ve just got to have, ask yourself this question: If I purchase this will I thirst again, or will it help me drink of the water that Jesus offers?
Thank you for reading this, and may the Lord give you a wonderful week! We are trying to reach people who are hurting, so if God lays it on your heart, please consider becoming a partner with us. If you would like to make a donation, please visit www.hcmachaplains.org and click on the Donate Now link. You can also send donations by mail to HCMA (Healthcare Chaplains Ministry Association). Our ID number is 560. The address is 377 E. Chapman Ave., Suite 260, Placentia, CA 92870. Finally, you’re always welcome to join our Monday night Bible study or Tuesday night prayer meeting. Both are conducted by conference call, and they take place at 5:30 PM Arizona time. Our conference number is 712-775-7031, and our ID is 607518748. We hope to talk with you soon!

If you have questions, comments or prayer requests for Timothy or Stephanie Burdick, please call 507-369-6861.