The Greatest Treasure
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
Nov 16, 2020
Before we began our ministry, Debby and I and most of our CCDC volunteers had never been in the near Eastside part of the city, which has a high number of those living in poverty and those living on the streets and in abandoned houses. What we found was surprising. We have all experienced something special that is discovered while getting to know the people in the Near Eastside community. We have discovered an unexpected blessing.
Those we seek to serve at CCDC are such great people to get to know. Outwardly, their clothing and appearance would not seem attractive. But when you look beyond and within you see the beauty of those “who are the least of these, Jesus’ sisters and brothers.” People like Timothy, a young man in his 30’s, who gave the blessing for our meals last Wednesday, has a big heart and a love for Christ. He has the best attitude about life and faith in God. He lives in poverty but lives with believing in God’s blessings on his life, for which he continually thanks God. He uplifts my spirit every time I see him.
Jesus taught us what to treasure. Our natural tendency is to treasure the things that reward us, honor us, comfort us, promote our position, or enhance our wellbeing. Jesus offers a different way to see treasure. Jesus says there is a treasure that is heavenly. He who existed in Heaven from all eternity knows firsthand what this treasure is. What could he be talking about?
First, let’s recall what Jesus himself did not treasure. He came to earth as a pauper and lived in poverty, so obviously he did not treasure social position, honor, recognition, comfort, or wellbeing, let alone personal wealth. What does Jesus treasure? Caring for the unfortunate. Sacrifice for others in need. Grace for those who don’t deserve it.
Jesus tells us in Mark 10:45 , “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” Jesus came for you and me and all people in this needy world. We are his treasure. Jesus calls us to treasure what he treasures – people, especially needy people. The things that this world rewards are all transitory. None of those things can be taken with us into Heaven. The rewards we can take with us into Heaven come from such things as:
- the sacrifices we made for others,
- the care we ministered to those in need,
- the love we had for the unloved,
- the gifts we gave asking for nothing in return, and
- ultimately any way we suffered to bring the hope of the Gospel to others.
Once we know what true treasure really is, our hearts follow, says Jesus. And our hearts lead us to be with those in need. Whatever we treasure, we give ourselves to. Our CCDC volunteers and supporters are led by their hearts to give to those in poverty and on the streets of our city. We are blessed to have so many who give their time, talents, and treasure for our ministry. Their hearts are with the people in the Near Eastside community. Their rewards are great.
As the cold weather sets in, the needs for warm clothing and blankets are great. We want to distribute these vital items on Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving. We will host a special Thanksgiving dinner that day. Please consider donating these items or make a financial contribution to CCDC to help us purchase them. Whatever you give will come back and reward you with a blessing.
May God’s Peace be with you,
Pastor Jim and Debby Riley