19 “Stop collecting treasures for your own benefit on earth, where moth and rust eat them and where thieves break in and steal them. 20 Instead, collect treasures for yourselves in heaven, where moth and rust don’t eat them and where thieves don’t break in and steal them. 21 Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
9 “As the Father loved me, I too have loved you. Remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. 11 I have said these things to you so that my joy will be in you and your joy will be complete. 12 This is my commandment: love each other just as I have loved you. 13 No one has greater love than to give up one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 I don’t call you servants any longer, because servants don’t know what their master is doing. Instead, I call you friends, because everything I heard from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You didn’t choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you could go and produce fruit and so that your fruit could last. As a result, whatever you ask the Father in my name, he will give you. 17 I give you these commandments so that you can love each other.
“Team: a group of people who work together. In sports, a group of people who play a sport or a game against another group.”* Marty Schottenheimer, coach of the KC Chiefs from1989-1998, said, “Look, it’s about the team, not the individual. For many, many years, I’ve always believed it’s about the team.”** Schottenheimer’s emphasis on the team rather than the individual helped him coach the Chiefs to 101 victories. Jesus called his followers to shape their entire life around being members of a team, not people pursuing individual advantage.
- Teams (and all committed team members) focus their priorities and actions on ultimate success, not short-term gains. Matthew’s gospel recorded Jesus calling his followers (including us) to choose and collect “treasures” that will last for eternity. What helps you remember and act on God’s purposes for your life, instead of just doing things for “your own benefit”? What are some “treasures” that you are seeking to collect “in heaven”?
- Most winning teams tell us that their love for one another ties them together and produces a winning atmosphere. Showing love for a teammate of necessity involves letting go of destructive self-centeredness, as Jesus knew long before the invention of football. But in practical, day-to-day terms (which will seldom if ever threaten your physical life), what does it mean for you to “give up your life for your friends”?
Lord Jesus, teach me the value of other-centeredness. Guide me to areas where I can contribute as a team member at my church or in my community. Amen.
* Definitions from https://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/american/team_1#team_11.
** Quote found at http://www.great-quotes.com/quotes/author/Marty/Schottenheimer/pg/9.
Melanie Hill is the Guest Connections Program Director at Resurrection.