Opinions on faith and life

Treasures In Heaven

2009-02-01

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Mt. 6:19-21)

We must look to the Originator and Finisher of the faith, Jesus, who for the joy set before him, endured the cross and ignored its shame. He has been seated in the right hand of the throne of God.

Consider this One who endured such resistance from those who fail, so that you may not falter and faint in your souls. You have not yet come to the point of bloodshed in your struggle against missing the mark, and you have been oblivious to the earnest request which contends with you as with children:

My child, do not take the Master’s training lightly, and do not choke when he puts you under examination. For whoever the Master loves he trains, and he will punish any child he calls his own.
So if you are enduring training, it’s because you are God’s children. After all, what child is not trained by their parents? So if you are not being trained-- and we all have gone into partnership with it-- you are not true children but illegitimate. We have been trained by our physical parents, and we respected them for it. Should we not that much more be supportive of the Father of our spirits and live? They trained us for a few days in the way they thought was best, but that One does it for our advantage so we can have a part in his holiness. Now of course no training is a joy when we’re in it, but a chore. Yet it produces the fruit of peace and justice in those who are exercised by it. (Heb. 12:2-11)

In stark contrast to the situation in my previous post, Clueless, we see in the scriptures above where our focus as believers should lie. Self may be the god of this age, but the One True God will not share glory with any others (Isaiah 42:8, Ex. 20:3). Even though the example of Christian leaders today is that of the Pharisees (John 5:44) who sought the praise of other people instad of God, we must follow the example of Jesus as seen in the Hebrews passage above. Hardship will come and pain will be endured, but anyone whose focus stays nailed to Jesus will be rewarded.

We know from other passages that Jesus’ motivation was not merely to regain His former glory (Phil. 2:5-11), but to save the world (John 3:16). Love was and is the motive, the power, and the nature of our Savior. How can it not be ours as well? Will we let life get in the way? Disappointment? Continually staring at the carnage all around us? With the psalmist let us say instead, “A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.” (Ps. 91:7) And of course from the totality of scripture we know this does not speak of physical safety but spiritual-- for the time being:

Then those who feared the LORD talked with each other, and the LORD listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the LORD and honored his name.

On the day when I act,” says the LORD Almighty, “they will be my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as a father has compassion and spares his son who serves him. And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.” (Mal. 3:16-18)

Yes, there will come a Day when what we’ve always longed for will come to pass: the righteous will prosper and the wicked will be brought down to ruin. There will be justice! But justice cuts both ways; to be truly just, it must judge without bias, and that means we are not immune from it either.

As I’ve detailed in other articles, salvation is strictly by faith. So judgment is payment for wages earned, and that concerns our actions in this life. But those actions, as Jesus and James pointed out, begin as thoughts. And our thoughts come from what we focus on. So let’s focus on the good (Phil. 4:8), on the treasures of heaven, as any bride would prepare for and focus on the coming wedding and groom (Rev. 19:7). Let us remember our “blessed hope” (Titus 2:13), because what kind of bride isn’t eager to meet her groom?

Sadly though, today’s church is disinterested in any wedding or Groom. They would prefer He didn’t come just yet so they can keep enjoying this life. They do not have hearts that bleed for the lost or consider praying to God that the suffering of others are relieved and the injustices against the oppressed avenged. What kind of Bride is that?

1 Comments

Lin

"Self may be the god of this age, but the One True God will not share glory with any others (Isaiah 42:8, Ex. 20:3). Even though the example of Christian leaders today is that of the Pharisees (John 5:44) who sought the praise of other people instad of God, we must follow the example of Jesus as seen in the Hebrews passage above. Hardship will come and pain will be endured, but anyone whose focus stays nailed to Jesus will be rewarded."

Isn’t this the real problem in the US...that most think they know Jesus or know enough about Him to reject Him or think they are saved? We have been busy redefining who He is. I have heard missionaries from third world countries come back and say that it is much easier to be a Christian in that backward, forsaken place than it is here with all our choices and wealth. Something to consider.