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Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be. Matthew 6:21 (NLT)

A group of us were enjoying coffee and dessert. Most of us were college students from a small group at the church I attended, but one couple was middle aged. Both husband and wife were well established in medical careers. They were very wealthy compared to any of us college students!

The very fact that the two doctors were even there seemed out of place. We were sitting in a small apartment in an area of the city that was old, rundown and not very safe. This couple currently lived on a beautiful hobby farm where they had several horses and a beautiful view of the valley.

In the midst of the laughter and meaningless chatter one of our group asked what she thought was a simple question. She asked the couple, “What do you think was the happiest time of your lives?”

I was expecting to hear about the birth of their first child or perhaps finishing school, or getting that first job. When the question was asked the couple smiled and looked at each other. The wife spoke first and after all these years I think I could quote her. Their story went something like this.

“Without a doubt the happiest time of our lives together was when we lived over onthird avenuein a small duplex. When we got married and decided to go to medical school we borrowed enough money from my parents for down payment. It seemed like a good idea at the time. We bought the place and rented out the other side for enough to make the mortgage payment. Even though we had the house ‘paid for’ we really had very little else to our names. We couldn’t afford a TV until we happened to find one in a trash dumpster. It worked okay, but needed a good slap on the top once in awhile.”

It’s been years since that conversation took place but it still reminds me of the important things in life. We measure happiness in life by the number of toys we have, the size of our yard or the amount of money in our retirement account. The words of King Solomon still ring true when he said (my paraphrase) “I didn’t spare myself anything but soon found I had nothing when it came to peace and happiness, I found it only comes from within.”

If your heart is centered on the things of this world like wealth, pleasure and power you will never be satisfied. Your ‘happiness’ will waver depending on circumstances.

But if your heart is centered on building a pure and healthy relationship with God you will find that the things the world finds important for success, happiness and comfort lose their luster. A close walk with God and living in the forgiveness and grace Jesus offers is the only real treasure that will last.

Seek a relationship with the God of Genesis above all others. Cherish the time spent in prayer and Bible study. Seek out those who will help you in your walk. It’s the best way to a healthy heart.

PRAYER: Father God, my own words convict me. There are so many times I’m drawn aside by the desires of this world thinking they will bring comfort and happiness. But their comfort is weak and temporary and often leads to painful consequences. I ask that through the power of your Spirit I would draw closer to you and nurture this treasure I have in Jesus. Amen.

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September 2011
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