Lenten Exercise Weeks 5 & 6

I enjoy using Biola University’s Lent Project. I read this one early on last week and it fit so well with last week’s Lent Challenge of combating the Seven Deadly Sins: avarice (greed) vs. generosity. But it actually applies to this week (gluttony) as well.
The parables of the Pearl and Hidden Treasure (Matt. 13:44-46), underscore the value of the Kingdom of Heaven vs. all we spend our time seeking here on earth. The author of the March 8 devotional talks about the “Stanford marshmallow experiment” which measured young children’s ability to delay gratification. A marshmallow was placed in front of them, and if they could wait and not eat it, they were given a “greater reward” of a second marshmallow. Most of them couldn’t wait. (Here’s a modern example.)
Storing up treasure in heaven is kind of like waiting for that second marshmallow. How often do I grab what’s in front of me? It could be a material object—the newest thing for my house or yard, the latest technology. It could be feeding my appetites—the instant gratification of watching TV instead of doing something of eternal value—helping a brother or sister, loving the unloved, spending time with the Lord. Or my physical appetite—the deadly sin of gluttony.
This devotional is really challenging to me. Christ is the only treasure that truly satisfies our hearts.

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