“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21, NRSV)
I treasure the life I have in Jesus Christ, in my relationship with Ann, in our family, in my friends, in the United Methodist Church, and in my leadership role at First United Methodist Church of Florence. I have a great life, and most of the time, I live in grateful awareness of all my blessings. In those times when I'm grumbling or complaining about my life, it's because I've lost sight of what a wonderful life I lead.
If someone wants to experience a better life, I believe the first step is to express gratitude for the life one is already experiencing. Even during some of the most challenging times in our lives, many blessings will go unnoticed if we fail to take the time to count them.
Take a few moments to list the people, places, and things that are a part of your life that make your life better. Add to that list any experiences that have shaped you and now serve as a foundation for your life. Include insights or perspectives that have become guiding principles that have served you well. Once completed, you will have a list of not only what you treasure, but you will also have a list of your investments—for what we invest in becomes our treasure. If we accumulate without gratitude, we are nothing more than a hoarder. If we accumulate with gratitude, we continue to invest in what we treasure and discover more and value in our lives.
To that which we love, we give. Jesus told us as much when he said, "For where our treasure is, there our hearts will also be." It's an equation that looks like this:
What we invest in = What we love
Jesus could have said it the other way, and it would have been true, too:
What we love = What we invest in
The word "treasure "is both a noun and a verb. What we treasure (a verb) becomes our treasure (a noun). In worship this Sunday, as we offer our estimates of giving for 2020, we are making a statement about what we treasure. It's a statement about what we love and that to which we are willing to invest. Ann and I choose to offer 10% to God of what we earn as an investment in the treasure we have found in you and First United Methodist Church of Florence. We do this because we love the Body of Christ that we see in and through our church.
Please come Sunday prepared to offer your estimate of giving to God. If you don't have a pledge card, some will be available in the pews. If you can't be there on Sunday, call the church office or drop a pledge card in the mail. I am grateful to God for your faithfulness in giving. We are indeed part of an amazing church!