One of our good friends and Krakow church members, Jarek, preached a few weeks over a passage from Proverbs 4:
"My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body. Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it."-Proverbs 4:20-23 (NIV)
As Jarek spoke about what it means to guard our hearts, I (Aaron) was reminded another passage, one from Christ's Sermon on the Mount:
"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
I thought again how important the priorities we embrace are to our lives (and especially our ministry). What we value -what we spend our time, money, and energy on- make all the difference in our ability to deny ourselves, honor God, and love others.
"Follow the example of Job," Jarek said. "He was the richest guy in the neighborhood, and he lost everything! And when that happened, he just said, 'What next, God? What would you like to teach me? What is your next lesson?'"
This got me thinking about Job, and about one of my all-time favorite Bible verses. These were Job's words to his friends after days and weeks and months of personal torment, heartbreak, and death:
"Oh, that my words were recorded, that they were written on a scroll, that they were inscribed with an iron tool on lead, or engraved in rock forever!
"I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes —I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!" -Job 19:23-27 (NIV)
And then we got blessed. :)
"All of these bad things happened to Job and his family," Jarek said. "He lost everything. But his heart was full of fear and love for God. THIS thing he didn't lose!"
Our fellow volunteer, Hannah, recalled a passage from 1 John. "Do not love the world or anything in the world," she remembered. "The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever." -I John 2:15, 17
"The world will pass away," Jarek reminded us, "but God's Word will never pass away."