March 18, Sunday

Today’s AMI Devotional is provided by Pastor Ryun Chang.

Devotional Thoughts for Today

Matt. 6:19-20

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

The senior pastor of a church died and proceeded on to heaven. At the pearly gates, the pastor’s guardian angel met him to escort him to his heavenly abode—otherwise known as a place prepared for us by Christ (Jn. 14:1-3). Along the way, the pastor spotted the church janitor who had died a few months earlier. The pastor marveled at the grandeur of the janitor’s mansion and thought, “Wow, if his heavenly home looks like that, then surely mine must be bigger and more splendid!”

Then the pastor ran into the old widow of the church who had died only a few weeks earlier. Next to her stood an even more stunning mansion. The pastor again thought, “If this old lady—all she ever did was cook and clean for the church— if she got this big of a mansion as a reward for her faithfulness, then surely mine has to be much greater!”

The pastor, still enraptured by his anticipation, was suddenly stopped by the angel, who said, “Here is your home.” The shaken pastor said, “What do you mean? I don’t see anything.” The angel said, “Look down.” The only thing the pastor could see down there was a house that reminded him of his dog house. The pastor shouted, “How could this be?! The janitor and cook of our church got huge mansions but how come the pastor of the church only gets a dog house?!” The angel said, “Well pastor, we wanted to build you a bigger and nicer mansion, but you wouldn’t send us any supplies, so we did what we could with what little you sent us.”

I heard this story told many years ago and I jotted down as best as I could remember. It is a funny story that raises an important question: What does it mean to send materials to heaven now so that Christ can use them to build our house for us? These, of course, are our rewards stored in heaven—“God . . . rewards those who seek him” (Heb. 11:6). This raises another question as a way to answer the first: Whether you are rich or poor, or hold a high position in the church or no position at all, are you laying up yourselves treasures on earth or in heaven? Jesus tells us to “use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into the eternal dwelling” (Lk. 16:9). Meaning what? Invest your wealth, whether it is much or little in the eyes of the world, into doing God’s work; so that as a result, many may believe and will thank you in heaven for what you did. Now that’s a big mansion. So let’s become long-term investors!

Prayer: Dear God, help us to count the number of our days and prepare for our end accordingly. Remind us to invest into our eternity while living in this world. Help us to fix our eyes on the Lord. Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Judges 12

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