“What would you like for Christmas?”
If you have young children in your family, this is a question you only need to ask once as Christmas approaches. A deafening chorus of got-to-haves and have-to-haves usually follows, delivered with such conviction and passion that it just about breaks your heart. And like any good parent—or grandparent, aunt, or uncle—we often try our best to oblige.
It is certainly biblical “to give good gifts unto your children” (Matthew 7:11). Yet it seems the frenzy of activity surrounding the joyous Christmas season often drowns out the true reason we give gifts in the first place. With decorations to put up, gifts to buy, meals to prepare, and marvelous get-togethers with family and friends to plan for, it is little wonder we may lose focus on God’s perfect “Gift” to us.
With the constant barrage of advertisements to show how much we care for those we love, we have all felt pressure to give something. And while our intentions may be good, it is all too easy to get caught up in the materialistic side of Christmas. These distractions often place our focus on the immediate earthly treasure rather than on God’s ultimate Gift to us. Consider what the Gift Himself had to say about this in the Sermon on the Mount.
Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. (Matthew 6:19-21)
Jesus instructed believers to “lay up…treasures in heaven” rather than on earth. The Lord’s use of the term “lay up” is important, for it implies a dedication of energy and effort over time to build up resources. The pursuit of earthly treasure—while certainly honorable and worthy if used to provide for your family and other Kingdom purposes—will simply never last. Only treasure of the heavenly kind will endure, for it will never decay, nor can it be stolen from the Creator’s mighty hand.
Ultimately, the focus of Christ’s message can be found in the final sentence. “Treasure,” in whatever form or fashion, indicates the position of the heart. How you spend your time, your energy, and yes, your money, reveals the true nature of your desires. How humbling and convicting! Truly, the Word “is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).
It seems fitting, then, as the Christmas season approaches, to rephrase the opening question in context with our Lord’s teaching:
“Where is your treasure? Where is your heart?”
Please know that the “heart” of ICR is to uphold the eternal Word of our Creator in all that we do, and we are so very grateful to those who share a portion of their earthly “treasure” to support our ministry. Our agenda for 2013 is positively bursting with new initiatives, and we pray that our Creator will provide the means to see these bear much lasting fruit. If you are able, please consider how you can help this Christmas season.
From all of us at ICR, may the Prince of Peace be your joy and strength this Christmas and throughout the New Year!
* Mr. Morris is Director of Donor Relations at the Institute for Creation Research.
Cite this article: Morris IV, H. 2012. The Treasure of the Heart. Acts & Facts. 41 (12): 21.