“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).
Jesus said this as part of what is commonly referred to as the Sermon on the Mount. John Stott, a noted leader of the worldwide evangelical movement, called this sermon “the nearest thing to a manifesto that Jesus ever uttered, for it is his own description of what he wanted his followers to be and do.” In other words, Jesus gave us this sermon in order to completely change the standards by which we lived before we made the decision to follow Him. Throughout his teaching, Jesus constantly used the phrase, “You have heard it said, but I say…” In other words, put off your old way of thinking, and be transformed by a complete renewing of your mind (Romans 12:1). His words were meant to give His followers new hearts, new affections, and entirely new attitudes.
This weekend, as we continue in our Lost in Real Life Series, we are going to be shifting focus, from relationships, to God’s plan for our families and the importance of having an eternal perspective. When Jesus told us to not store up treasures on earth, what he meant was that, as His followers, we should not be investing in things that don’t last. The world would have us think differently – that success can be defined by how much money is in our bank accounts or by how much stuff we own. But Jesus’ standard is radically different, and much higher than that. Rather than investing in things that don’t last, we should be investing in treasures that will last forever. One of those treasures is our family, and especially our children. How then should we invest in our children so that they might engage this truth as well?
As a father, the most important disciple I have is my son. I have other people that I pour into and whom God has placed under my care, but he is the most important one. Just as I invest in my own eternity, I should constantly be investing in his. That means that I am going to make the most of every opportunity to teach him what it means to follow the Lord and love him with all of his heart. He needs to see me doing it, and he needs to hear me talk about it. Ultimately, he is going to have to make his own decision in who he will follow, but when I look back over his life and my years as a parent, I want to be confident that I have done everything within my power to ensure that he has been led towards loving and following Jesus.
Some important ways that you and I can invest in our children’s eternity:
1. Teach them that they have eternal value to their Creator (Psalm 139:13-14: For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful; I know that full well.)
2. Help them discover their divine purpose (Ephesians 2:10: For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.)
3. Let them know that their identity is in Christ alone (1 John 3:1-2: See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!)
4. Teach them that they are a link in the chain of the gospel (Psalm 127:4-5: Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.)
5. Show them what it means to be eternally-minded (Colossians 3:1-2: Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things.)
Join us this weekend at 5:30 PM on Saturday and 10:30 AM on Sunday as we take a deeper look into these truths.