Sunday, August 27, 2023
Jesus said it this way:
"Don't store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.
"Your eye is like a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is filled with light. But when your eye is unhealthy, your whole body is filled with darkness. And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is!" 
Isaiah showed how deep the darkness was for those whose eye was unhealthy in his day. They wanted their rewards while they lived. They abused the vulnerable, preyed on the weak, and denied the rights of the powerless. However, God promised to act and bring Israel's corrupt officials to justice. God did what He promised. He broke out against them, using foreign nations against them. They were killed, imprisoned, and enslaved. They lost their homes, children, freedom, power, and influence. They lost everything they cheated others to get.
Neglecting, abusing, and denying rights to widows, fatherless, poor, and foreigners living among us is common in our day. These groups are often swept aside, kept out of sight, or moved away from the busy places of life. Abusers assume the attitude represented by these words:
The answer? GOD! God cares and notices. God sees and brings justice. And, when people live for the now, the moment, the goods, and the riches, especially when they do it at the expense of others, God's judgment is harsh but appropriate.
Verses throughout the Bible speak about God's heart for those on the margins of society.  Our Father in heaven wants our hearts tuned to His heart. He wants us to defend the fatherless, speak up for widows, welcome foreigners, and encourage the poor.  God wants us to reflect His values, His righteous character, gracious compassion, and faithful justice.  Those who choose the way of "having it all" now and stepping on people to get what they want will find themselves without all they accumulated and will face a judge who will require His justice for each abuse. God is serious about us being His children who are like Him, and He modeled that heart for others by sending Jesus.
Father, I confess that I get lured into the acquisition addiction. I want what the world has. I want to build my own base of security. I want to ensure my future is successful, my burdens light, and my problems are few. Help me reject the lies of Satan about things, stuff, and money. I want my heart aligned with You, so I am placing my hope in You as my treasure. I want to use my resources to be a blessing to others and draw them close to Jesus, in Whose name I pray. Amen.
Together in Christ is a daily devotional that focuses on what Scripture teaches about godly living in relationships.
'Together in Christ' is written by Phil Ware.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
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