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Weekly message from Neighborhood Church: A heart changing choice

Matthew 6:21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

For much of my life I have made the choice not to like coffee. I did like coffee ice cream with lots of chocolate sauce and whipped cream. Oh yes and ‘Mudpie!’ You know that tall dome shaped slice of heaven, with that oh so buttery crunched up chocolate cookie crust, as a delectable foundation for creamy sweet coffee ice cream, slathered with a thick chocolaty fudge topping and a generous dollop of hand whisked real whipped cream!! Oh, I can almost taste it!! But I still said I was NOT a coffee drinker. It is true. I did not like the taste, but I think it was more because ‘I’ had chosen not to like it and so I didn’t! It was sometimes awkward when people would offer me coffee and sure, I would take it and drink a sip or two out of respect and politeness. Those who knew me would offer me tea. My Scandinavian mother-in-law could never understand that I did not enjoy coffee. She would offer me coffee and then quickly say, “Oh, that’s right. Mike does not drink coffee.” Maybe to assert my power of choice or just because I had valued or treasured NOT liking coffee, it changed my heart. Until I made another heart-changing choice.

I’ll explain what happened in a moment, but it was an example of how we can choose what we treasure and as Jesus said in Matthew 6:21 “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” The truth is what we value, what we hold as our deep desires, what tends to be our passion comes from the choice of what we treasure. Jesus again put it this way…

Luke 6:43-45 For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thorn bushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.

So, what treasure does your actions and words reveal? Would you consider it ‘good fruit’ or ‘bad fruit?’ Is it more about you, or others, or God’s will and way? Because our actions and words reveal something. God’s desire is that we would choose to treasure Him and His will and life lived His way.

Matthew 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and He will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.

Matthew 11:28-30 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke (way of life) upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

I know, for me, when I chose to make knowing Jesus and following His way of life as my intimate treasure, life became fulfilling, significant, and meaningful. There was peace, joy, love, and more. I had purpose, direction, and a depth of satisfaction that was amazing. It was a choice. Just like my choice to like coffee. I was in Cuba and got handed a small cup of coffee during a coffee break. I had first tried to refuse. I had understood the great sacrifice they had made to make the coffee and I wanted others who actually liked coffee to have it. But they insisted and when I said I was not that much into coffee they said, “You have never had Cuban coffee!” So, I did what I usually did and started to drink it down fast. But they said you need to drink it slow and enjoy the flavor. Wanting to honor them and have them enjoy the moment, I chose to value what they did. And something amazing happened, I really liked it. In the days to come, I could not wait for the coffee break. I bought some Cuban coffee to bring home and now I am a coffee drinker! I choose to treasure coffee and I made a heart changing choice.

Church is a great place to choose to treasure God and His way of life. If you don’t have a church you regularly attend we would like to invite you to view or visit Neighborhood Church. Our website has all the information you need for times and locations of all our Sunday gatherings. We would love for you to join in. You can also find us online at neighborhoodchurch.com. As well, if you would like to view any of our past worship gatherings or videos, visit our YouTube channel, or just search Neighborhood Church Cypress or Neighborhood Church Los Alamitos on their YouTube site.

Choosing to treasure the things of God along with you,
Mike