Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. -Matthew 6:19 (NIV)
Have a bucket list? A list of things you want to do before you pass from this world to the next?
Till I was 40 years old, my bucket list was more or less the same:
- Own various supercars
- Live in Japan
- Be wealthy enough to not have to think twice about buying something I wanted
- Work for NASA
- Visit some of America’s beautiful national parks
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said these words:
But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. -Matthew 6:20 (NIV)
Even unbelievers know that materialism isn’t a great way to live. It’s pretty hollow, and enslaves you to making more money to acquire more things, and repeating the cycle. It’s an evil game that fools you into thinking that having something somehow improves you as a person, and in happiness.
When God opened my eyes at 40, He made my bucket list crystal clear. He wiped everything off my list, and wrote one thing:
And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. -Ephesians 5:2 (ESV)
So, can I still go to Yellowstone National Park? Sure. Can I still work for NASA? Sure. But the real key with this bucket list of one item is that, to walk in love, is to follow Christ’s footsteps. And to do that, we move more slowly and deliberately with the guidance of the Holy Spirit in all circumstances: in good times, in bad times, and the very worst of times. We also pray for His guidance as to where He wants us to go and what to do with our lives.
But to do that one thing that the passage above calls for covers our whole lives, down to how we conduct ourselves with others, to how we spread the Good News. It’s in all these things, over our lifetimes, that we offer our lives as a sweet-smelling sacrifice for a God who sacrificed His Son to save our lives.
This one item list actually calls us to take part in His Great Adventure for our lives, now rich with purposeful pursuit of Him, rather than the shallow pursuit of things. Every moment of our lives is now opportunity to do better and greater things in His name, to His glory.
Jesus said it best:
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. -Matthew 6:21 (NIV)