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Weekly Update from Pastor Hank – Oct. 21

Dear Church Family and Community,

“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

 Last week, during our weekly Wednesday night prayer meeting on Zoom, we spent some time sharing about and giving thanks for those who have spiritually invested in us, and also those in whom we have spiritually invested as well. We then spent times of intentional prayer remembering both of these groups of people. It was a beautiful reminder that in this faith, we are blessed by those who pour into us, and we can be a blessing by pouring into others.

A mentor and friend once explained to me that we are like a pitcher that must be poured into, just as it must also pour out for others. This reminded me of a sermon we heard years ago here at HBIC from our brother, Bernardo Michael, about spiritual inheritance. I remember being challenged to think through what spiritual inheritance has been passed down to me. I was also challenged to think through what spiritual inheritance do I wish to pass down to and through others as well.

I believe that spiritual inheritance is a part of the treasure that awaits us in heaven to come. Those who have poured into us spiritually, and who have gone ahead, now sit as part of our cloud of witnesses cheering us on to faithfulness and obedience to Christ. Those who have invested in us, who remain with us on this side, are also faithfully praying for and cheering us on. They gift us treasures that bless us today.

I believe that spiritual inheritance passed down by us pouring into others helps make on earth as it is in heaven possible today. We are made together in the image of God. We are brought together by the blood of Christ. And we are held together in unity by the Spirit of God. As we live and work to see others grow in faith, love, and service to God, the kingdom comes down and springs to life.

We follow the commands of Christ because they are a part of our spiritual inheritance as well. Jesus is our Lord. Jesus is the one we follow. Jesus is the one to whom we look to learn how to live to please God. Jesus is the one we obey as we learn how to love the way God loves. By following Jesus’ commands, we put into practice the laws and values of the kingdom. And with the Spirit’s help, we live and work for the things that last while moving on from the things that will all pass.

In Matthew 6:19-24, Jesus teaches us that where our heart is, there will our treasure ultimately lie. He reminds us not to make our life’s work about things that won’t last in the end. He teaches us that how we live reveals what all we value. He shows us that while perception shapes our reality, we must learn to trust God’s perspectives first. The truth here is simply that we are either living for God, or living for the things of this world. So, we must live by choosing wisely – heaven or earth, my treasure or the things God treasures.

I would like to invite you to spend the next few days intentionally meditating on this passage. To help you reflect, I would like to ask you to focus on the following questions:

  • Who is one person that has invested in your growth in Christ?
  • What one person are you helping grow in their faith and walk with God?
  • What spiritual inheritance would you like to pass down to others in your life?
  • How is your life showing value for the things that last?
  • How does all of your life reflect that you belong to God?

Jesus ends this passage with a very familiar warning. No one can serve two masters. We either hate one and love the other, or we are devoted to one and despise the other. We cannot serve both God and our own treasures. This is striking in its simplicity, but challenging in practice. We either serve God or ourselves. We either live fully for God, or live fully for things that won’t last. We either build up a net worth that won’t make it past our grave, or treasures that will last for eternity in heaven to come.

God bless you all, and take care.

Love in Christ,

Pastor Hank
(Matthew 6:19-21)
P: (717) 561-2170, ext. 104
E: pastorhank@harrisburgbic.org

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