I'm sure we all have certain favourite places – special not only because of their beauty, but because of lovely experiences there which have blessed us.
One of my favourite places is the riverside walk set in natural woodlands in the grounds of Ellel Pierrepont. During the year I spent there, one of my delights was to walk by the river early in the morning or in the evening with the Lord, on my own. It felt like being in the Garden of Eden, where God walked and talked with Adam and Eve.
This place became very special to me, as it was there that God often showed me His love, and drew me closer to His heart. As the year was coming to an end, I knew I was going to miss this place very much, but I felt God say to me that, although I was leaving the riverside walk behind, I was not leaving His heart behind – I would take His heart with me.
I knew this was true, yet many months later, I still longed to be in that place with the Lord, and would often imagine myself there when I wanted to feel close to Him. One day, I felt God saying, “You haven't left My heart there, but you’ve left yours there!”
Our hearts must be in the present moment, for this is where God is. His loving presence is right with us, wherever we are. Moreover, as our hearts seek Him above all else, the present takes on the aspect of eternity and the future hope we have in Him becomes ever more real to us - and nothing in this world can compare with that!
Today’s verse, words spoken by Jesus, should cause us to reflect on this important matter – where is our treasure, where is our heart? Is it in our possessions, or the One who gave them to us? In our ministry, or the One who called us to it? In that special relationship, or the One who gave it? In a special place, or the One who blessed us there?
I was struck recently by the words of a friend when she said, “God is my treasure!” There’s no doubt where her heart lies. Jesus speaks at some length in this passage in Luke about the importance of setting our heart on the right things – not on our needs and cares of everyday life here, for God is our provider and will take care of everything that concerns us. Rather we should set our hearts on the things of the Kingdom of God, which are eternal, and surely in doing this, a priority is to seek an ever-closer relationship with the King Himself.
It's really a question of who is number one in our lives. A good clue is to see what or who takes up a great deal of our time and thought life. Effectively, only as our hearts turn to Him, can we know His heart and be in tune with His heart for our lives, our ministries, and our relationships. Only by growing closer to Him can we feel His heart for those around us, for His people, for the hurting world in which we live, and only so can we express His heart to others, as our hearts go out to them with His love. For it’s His heart they need to know, through us.
Prayer: Dearest Lord, as I reflect on the extent of Your great love for us, I turn my heart towards You in adoration and thanksgiving. Forgive me when my heart is consumed with other things more than with You. I desire to know You better and to grow closer to Your heart. Please lead me by Your Spirit, and flow through me to touch others with Your love. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
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