With many of us staying in more over the last few months, a lot of people are refreshing their homes. We fall into that category! Our current living room furniture is 15 years old, and we’ve been saving money to replace it. After shopping at several stores, I finally found what I wanted a couple of months ago. We placed an order, and it (hopefully!) will arrive in the next week or two.
I’m all about making our homes look nice. An interior decorator I’m definitely not, but I enjoy seeing how others design their spaces. We all like having pretty, comfortable rooms for our families.
While we understand the purpose behind decorating our houses, we wouldn’t do the same with a hotel room. We live and work in our homes daily, but a hotel room is just a temporary situation. The following excerpt from John Ortberg’s book When the Game is Over, It All Goes Back in the Box showed me how this relates to our Christian lives.
“Let’s say you spend a week at Motel 6. How likely would it be for you to take all your money and spend it decorating your motel room? How probable is it that you would clean out your bank account to purchase van Goghs or paintings of Elvis on velvet or whatever it is that your taste runs to?
Not very. You wouldn’t even be tempted because the hotel room is not home. You’re only going to be there a little while. It would be foolish to waste the treasure of your one and only life on a temporary residence…So Jesus says it is wise to store up treasure in what’s eternal: God and people.
This is Motel 6. Your ‘room’ – your home and furniture and clothes and possessions – will last the equivalent of a few seconds compared to the eternity that will be occupied by your soul. It’s not bad to stay in a place and enjoy it while you’re there. But Jesus says don’t store up treasure in Motel 6. It’s not home. You’re only going to be here a little while. If you’re going to stay up nights dreaming, dream about something better than how to upgrade your motel room.”
That likely reminds you of this Bible verse.
“Lay not up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” ~Matthew 6:19-21
If God and people are the things that last, how do we focus on that? It’s fairly basic, but here are four ideas.
Learn more about God by spending time in His Word and prayer.
I’m certainly not perfect at this. It’s easiest when I just make it part of my routine, which means doing it first thing in the morning. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said to myself, “I’ll do that after ___________ (my husband leaves for work/I check e-mail/that load of laundry gets finished).” And I rarely follow through.
Then there are some mornings when, for whatever reason, time is short and I can’t read and pray like I want to. I still try to at least have a plan going on YouVersion where I can read a quick devotional that gets my mind focused on Christ for the day.
Look for opportunities to touch someone’s life today.
On occasion, this may be on a grand scale, but it’s usually something simple. Send a “get well” or “sympathy” or “thinking of you” card. (I stock up on these at Dollar Tree.) Text a friend that you’re praying for them. Keep your eyes open to who might need your help in the grocery store or just hold the door for a mom pushing a stroller. Be aware of how you can share your faith or be an encouragement to those you come in contact with.
Always be finding ways to give.
Generosity changes us. In some seasons of life, you can give more; in others, maybe not as much. But we can manage whatever money we do have to honor God and bless others.
If money is tight, find other ways to give. Make a little more than you need for supper and share the extra with a neighbor. Pass along books you’ve finished reading to someone else who will enjoy them. Have your children make a gift for a family member. Offer someone a ride to a doctor’s appointment.
This right here is a big part of what we’re going to be doing in heaven, so we might as well practice it now! I like using Bible passages to praise God. Or put on some good praise music and sing along. I’ve found that my attitude about almost anything can change when I praise Him.
It’s nice to make our homes beautiful places where we and our families are comfortable. And it’s good to enjoy all the activities and opportunities we get to experience in the here and now. But let’s balance that with investing in things that will never wear out and that provide eternal blessings.
- What Mary Teaches Me About Praising God
- 7 Promises of God to Carry Me Through the Week
- 3 Truths About God from Psalm 91 to Encourage Us Today
I’ve been thinking about this a little bit lately, too, how to bless others during this time. I just read something yesterday about how the people in third world countries are starving because the lines of distribution have been disrupted by the coronavirus. I want to help, but what can one person do? So I try to focus on the people around me because I can help them.
There truly are so many needs in our world! As you say, may God open my eyes to those right around me that I can help.