daily devotional

It seems to me there are a whole lot of people waking up today totally stressed about money. Uh huh, I know, I used to be one of them. I was overwhelmed with debt, stretched to the max, and desperate to make the minimum payments on all I had accumulated. I was a slave to money and it seemed no matter how much I prayed about it, God wasn’t letting me win the lottery to fix that mess overnight.

I understand money now. I understand because I screwed it up royally for years. It seems you can really understand something when you’ve first done it all wrong, then you finally get it right. I know there are a whole lot of people waking up where I once was … in debt, maxed out and stressed out.

Listen to me sweet sister, God truly wants to help you, but he likely won’t be helping you with a massive pile of cash showing up on your front door step. Instead he will help realign your priorities. He will help you see your “stuff” with a different perspective. He will loosen your grip on all your pretty things, just as he did mine, and then you’ll see your life is so much more than the house you live in, the car you drive, and the clothes you wear.

And when you finally get your money right and you begin truly being faithful with the little you have now, then he can bless you with more.

Each morning I wake up to the song Glorious by Maclamore. Yes, I like rap and I love Jesus, I’m not afraid to admit it. My favorite part of the song says “En gaurd, things are just things, they don’t make you who you are. Can’t pack up a UHaul and take it with you when you’re gone.” That’s basically the rap translation of Matthew 6: 19-20 which says.

“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.”

But what does that mean? Does it mean it’s not okay to have pretty things? Does it mean it’s sinful to be wealthy? This scripture confused and burdened me for most of my thirties. If I’m not supposed to store up treasure here on Earth, how do I instead store treasures in heaven?

He tells us to store up our treasures in Heaven, but HOW – tell me HOW. I’m a “tell me how and let’s get busy making it happen” kinda gal. But I struggled to wrap my mind around storing up treasures in heaven. Almost sounds boring doesn’t it? Live with nothing here – just get by – just get through – be miserable with this life and save it all for Heaven. Is that what we’re supposed to do, just save it all for Heaven?

Gosh, I don’t think that’s what God means at all. He didn’t give you this one life to be miserable. He gave you this life to live it. Then, he provided you with blessings and opportunities to earn. With your earnings you can can make awesome memories and have nice things. The question is, does God get the glory for your nice things? And the even bigger question … have your nice things become more important than God? Have you filled your life so full of “things” that you not only have to work endlessly to pay for them. Now you’re working to make the payments on all the stuff you bought and you’re a slave to your things. And when you’re not working, you’re stressed about how you’re going to bring in more money. Let’s be honest, if the monthly bills weren’t so high, you could probably work less and do more of what you really wanted, right? You could follow your passion if you weren’t paying on everything else. There would likely be fewer fights in your home if money weren’t so tight.

I’ve been there. We worked for years to undue our pile of debt and ridiculous obligations until we were finally able to sell it all, give the rest away and start over with a simpler lifestyle. But we couldn’t do any of that until we dug our way out of the mess we had made with all the things we bought. The life we truly wanted was available once we got our priorities right, our finances in line, and our stuff out of the way.

The overwhelming majority of us are working a job we don’t love to pay the monthly payments on things we never should have bought in the first place.

That’s a trap of the enemy to keep you focused on things that really don’t matter. Where’s the legacy in that? No one will stand up at your funeral and talk about your nice car. No one will honor the multiple promotions and raises you received. WHY ARE YOU WORKING SO HARD? Is it just to buy more things? You’re going to regret that. And all those things just ruin. They get rusty, the moths eat it, and it eventually ends up on FaceBook Marketplace for sale. There’s got to be more to life.

Last year in America there were 768 million unused vacation days. You know what I would say about that … missed opportunities. In my Daddy’s final days of life I asked him if he had any regrets. He said his only regret was when I was a baby he stayed at a deadend job for far too long, miserable, missing out on his family. Looking back he saw it was a waste of time and more was always available to him. He went on to build his own business as a highly sought after home builder and hundreds of families wake up today in homes his hands built. But he regretted staying stuck for so many years.

Store up treasures in heaven. Heaven represents what’s truly important. That which is important will outlive you. What we’re talking about here is your LEGACY.

Let us be legacy minded. Let us be laser focused on spending our time, talents and treasures on things that will actually matter 5 years from now. What memories are you creating that will be treasured in the future? What investment are you making in others that will outlive you? What impact are you making here on Earth that will be talked about in Heaven. THIS IS HOW YOU STORE UP TREASURES IN HEAVEN. Do things here on Earth that will matter when you no longer walk this Earth.

When God shows you the movie of your life, will you be proud of it? Now let’s boil that down to something you can relate to more … If God showed you a movie of your life yesterday, would you be proud of it? How did you spend your time yesterday? What investments did you make yesterday? How did you make others feel yesterday? What part of your yesterday will outlive you?

Let us not get caught up in the rat trap. Let us not lose sight of what’s truly important. This life is passing and it’s passing quickly and oh how disappointing it’s going to be to get to the end of it and only have a pile of temporary pretty things that mean nothing. You can’t pack up a UHaul and take it with you when you’re gone. Store up those treasures in Heaven. Work on things that will outlive you.

Treasure people. Value relationships. Create memories. Invest in lives. Leave your legacy.

A legacy of a woman who lived well, loved wildly, and left one heck of a story that points straight to Jesus.