I often look back on my day with regret. I think of the many minutes gone to waste in the form of mindless scrolls or swipes, and the hours spent with eyes glued to a screen.
A fellow youth leader posed a question to our senior high girls recently that pierced my heart: “How much time do you spend pursuing earthly things compared to time spent seeking God?”
That’s a convicting question. If we think about it for more than a minute, the Holy Spirit might just peel back the layers of our heart, exposing what we truly treasure.
What Do You Treasure?
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:21)
As Christians, we must ask ourselves: How much of our time is spent scrolling, practicing a hobby, watching TV, or playing video games? How often are our minds filled to the brim with these things? Is meeting with God something we check off the list, only to forget about it until our next “quiet time”?
One of the beauties of the Christian life is being free in Christ to enjoy the good things we love, to the glory of God. The problem is when these things become more to us than the Lord—when we crave them more than we long for him. We raise them up as our own little “gods,” and they begin to rule us.
Sometimes, when I awake, the first thing on my mind is checking social media. Other times, I feel propelled to tackle my to-do list. These actions reveal a heart far more interested in the happenings of the world than in the sweet words of life which my God offers in his Word.
His mercies are new every morning, and yet, we so often rob ourselves of his mercy by allowing our minds to be fixed on lesser pursuits. We forget: Blessed are those who seek him with their whole heart (Psalm 119:2).
Instead may we echo David:
Open my eyes, that I may behold
wondrous things out of your law. (Psalm 119:18)
Seeking True Treasure
Maybe that’s just it—maybe we’ve forgotten that Scripture holds within it “wondrous things.” Glorious truths are to be found there. Have we ceased to remember the great treasure we hold in our hands? There’s encouragement for us from the Psalmist.
Your testimonies are my delight;
they are my counselors. (Psalm 119:24)
For I find my delight in your commandments,
which I love.
I will lift up my hands toward your commandments, which I love,
and I will meditate on your statutes. (vv. 47-48)
If your law had not been my delight,
I would have perished in my affliction. (v. 92)
I long for your salvation, O Lord,
and your law is my delight. (v. 174)
In this God-exalting psalm, which focuses on the testimonies of the Lord, we find David claiming the law as his delight ten times. Surely, he was a man who treasured the Lord and his Word. How much more should we, who have the Word more fully confirmed, cling tightly to Scripture (2 Peter 1:19)?
We rob ourselves of God’s mercy by allowing our minds to be fixed on lesser pursuits.
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But many times, we don’t cling to his Word, do we? Our flesh draws our focus to objects of lesser value. But hasn’t our Savior overcome the flesh? Jesus died to sin and was raised to life, and we are united with him in both his death and resurrection (Romans 6:2-5). In uniting us to himself, he also liberated us from our bondage to sin, giving us new hearts. Hallelujah, what a Savior!
We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. (Romans 6:6)
Friends, because of Jesus’ work on the cross, we are free to lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and run the race set before us (Hebrews 12:1). First, let us look to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, to cultivate a heart that treasures him more (v. 2). We can ask him to grow our desire to seek him through his Word and through prayer. This is a prayer he loves to answer.
11 Practical Ways to Treasure Christ
Now, I’m not advocating for spending three hours in Bible study every day (although that sounds fantastic). But there are many other things we can add to our routine to set our minds on things that are above and grow within our hearts a deep love for God and his Word (Colossians 3:2).
Below, you’ll find few suggestions to focus your mind on the Lord and develop a greater desire for seeking God in the day-to-day. These things should never replace a deep study of the Bible or prayer, but act as supplements to your regular time with the Lord.
Think about how you might implement a few this week:
- Listen to sermons
- Read blogs about the Lord
- Listen to an audio Bible
- Keep a thanksgiving journal
- Write Scripture
- Meet with other believers and pray together
- Memorize Scripture
- Pray for God to work in other believers
- Listen to gospel-centered podcasts
- Share with a friend what you’ve learned about God recently
- Look for ways to shift conversations to the things of the Lord
May we all grow in our love for God so that we can say with David, “My soul is consumed with longing for your rules at all times” (Psalm 119:20). May Jesus become our ultimate treasure, above all other things. Truly, he is more precious than anything this world has to offer.
[Photo Credit: Lightstock]
- Cultivating the Desire to Pray, Part 1
- Some Real Questions About Your “Quiet Time”
- 12 Ways to Sit at Jesus’ Feet (When You Have Neither Quiet Nor Time)