Friday, October 17, 2008

Heavenly Collections Part 1

The weekend is upon us and most of us have already made plans with our families and friends. Some of you may be working or planning to catch up on cleaning. Tomorrow our family is taking a day away from the house and we are heading to the Phoenix zoo. I have wanted to take our family to the zoo for a long time. However we have been so busy and bogged down with responsibilities that we have not made the time to go. For a season, we had become very out of balance by collecting responsibilities rather than collecting memories and eternal treasures.

God is obviously speaking to us about rest and focusing on the more important aspects of life. What are we really collecting and accumulating? Look around your home. What kind of collections are there? I am not suggesting you go through and discard all of your collectibles. I collect willow wood angels and books. But I have to examine my heart periodically to see if I am making my earthly treasures more important than my heavenly treasures.

Jesus says in Matthew 6:19-21, "Don't hoard treasure down here where it gets eaten by moths and corroded by rust or -worse-stolen by burglars. Stockpile treasure in heaven where it is safe from moth and rust and burglars. It's obvious isn't it? The place where your treasure is is the place where you most want to be, and end up being. (The Message Bible)

As women of God, we need to continually be reminded of the importance of collecting the right things. If I store my treasures in heaven, then I am investing in something that will never break, be destroyed, or stolen. My earthly trinkets will fade away but my eternal ones will not.

I would like to share some ideas on investing most of our time in the eternal treasures-God and people. These are the only two things that last forever. Isaiah 40:8 shares that "the grass withers an the wildflowers fade, but our God's Word stands firm and forever. (The Message Bible) Also, Revelation 22:5 speaks of people in the City of God reigning forever and ever.

How can we invest in God and people? By filling our hearts daily with God's spirit during our times of rest, and then making ourselves available to show His love to others. It is as simple as that.

If you are just starting on learning to invest in God's word, start small. Begin with snacks of His truth. I used to get discouraged when my oldest children were babies. I would hear women speak of their wonderful hour long times with God each morning. If I tried to have quiet time early in the morning during that season of my life, I would fall asleep after being up with a small baby during the night. One evening before I went to bed, I shared my frustration with the Lord. He gave me this idea-start with a little. So I began each evening before bed with one scripture. I read it and thought about it. Then as I was going to sleep I would think about God and say a short prayer. God is not so much concerned about your method in your time with Him, He is looking at your heart. If my heart is not invested first then all of my time is futile. Everything starts in the heart. Below is a list of ways to invest in eternal things.

1. Make a scripture collection. Buy a small photo album at the dollar store along with index cards. Write down one scripture a week and place it in the album. (you can do 2 or 3 and keep one in each room where you spend the most time or keep one in your purse.) When are cooking dinner, meditate on those words. Memorize them.

2.If you are a busy mother with small children, keep a bible in your bathroom. This is a great opportunity to invest in God. Write in your bible. Highlight scriptures and jot down prayers in the margin. This is an investment in God and in your children and grandchildren who will know you spent time with God.

3.Use your work as symbols of worship. "Thank you Lord for my helpers-my washer and dryer, the stove, and my crock-pot. Thank you for the things you have blessed me with that I may have more time with my family. As you are making your bed pray, "Lord, cover my family today in your love and protection. Give us your peace, rest, and harmony in our attitudes toward one another. Be creative. As you invest in God you will be investing in others.

Tomorrow I will share practical and simple ways to invest in people. You are storing up riches in places that matter and that last forever. Remember to rest and enjoy your loved ones this weekend. Live, laugh, love. Play with your children. Give your neighbor a hug. Most of all, retreat to a quiet place, if only for a few moments, and tell God that you love and appreciate Him.

Morning Bagel-Be delighted with the Lord. Then He will give you all your heart's desires. Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust Him to help you do it and he will. (Psalms 37:4-5) The Living Bible

Daily Hug-Lord, this is the day You made. I appreciate the life You have given to me. If not for You, I would not have been able to get up out of the bed this morning. If not for You, I could not take the breath I am breathing right now. If not for You , I could not kiss my husband this morning or embrace my children. Thank you for investing in me Lord. You created me. You invested in me. You bless me with love, joy,peace and life. You invest in me continually. You sent your beloved child to die for me. You invested in me. You have given everything for my benefit. Help me to never take your eternal gifts for granted. I simply say thank you Lord. I am grateful. I am appreciative. Show me how to collect the things You collect and not to be distracted by things that fade away. I choose to make You and people my priority today. In Jesus Name. Amen

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