FEBRUARY 11, Matthew 6:20

“Sheila is so lucky,” thought Nick. Sheila’s family lived nearby, and they were wealthy. Sheila had all sorts of things - her own phone and TV, a closet bursting with clothes, and just a few minutes earlier, she had ridden up on her new bike and teased Nick by showing him a special cartoon card he had been wanting. “Some friend she is,” thought Nick. “She knows I want a card like that, and that I’m hoping for a new bike, too.” He sighed and stretched his legs out in front of him.

The clanging of dishes told Nick that his mother was setting the table for dinner. He went inside. “Hi, Mom,” he murmured. As she looked up, he voiced his frustration. “It’s not fair!” he exclaimed. “Sheila gets everything she wants, and she even gets everything I want.” Before Mom could answer, Dad came back.

Mom nodded. “Yes, and dinner’s ready,” she said. “You’d better go wash up.”

During the meal, Nick complained to his father about Sheila and how she had proudly shown him her new bike and made sure he saw her card. “I don’t care that she has so much stuff,” grumbled Nick, “but she doesn’t have to wave it in my face.”

“Sheila does seem to have a lot of nice things,” agreed Dad, “but how valuable are her things really?” He was thoughtful. “I hope Sheila also has treasure stored in heaven, where it can’t be taken away or stolen.” Nick shrugged. “I don’t know about that,” he said, “but it sure would be nice to have the stuff she has for a little while anyway. There’s nothing wrong with having nice things, is there?”

Dad smiled. “No,” he said, “but think about what we discussed in our family devotion yesterday-things that have real value. Remember what will happen to our earthly possessions when Christ returns.”

Thought: Where is your treasure - on earth or in heaven? If God chooses to provide you with things like money, toys, cars, or expensive clothes, thank Him and enjoy them. But remember that they don’t give lasting joy and treasure in heaven.

Prayer: Help me, Heavenly Father, to store up treasures in heaven by spending time telling others about Jesus, helping friends when they have problems, encouraging them to worship God, and inviting them to attend church and Sunday school. Please give me the courage to talk to them. In Jesus’ name, amen.