September 2018

Choose treasures that will last for eternity

We all have things which we treasure above all else; things we value highly and are willing to sacrifice for. For the Christian it’s no different, except that believers’ most precious treasure is securely stored in heaven.

Jesus, having just instructed His disciples on a right pattern of prayer life, goes on to clarify what should be their ultimate priorities. Jesus said; “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also(Matthew 6:19-21).

Jesus once again cut straight to their inner most passions. It’s the same for us today. If you wish to clearly see where your heart’s affections lay, simply look for where you store your most valued treasures.

Mortal reality

Old Testament Nahum reasoned that; “There is no end of the treasure or of the wealth of all precious things” (Nahum 2:9b). Humanly speaking, the pursuit of accumulating possessions and experiences seems endless. However, this mortal life only offers a few short years to acquire precious commodities, so prioritising them is important.

Believers are intended to be spiritually wise investors; recognising the temporary nature of earthly possessions and experiences. Jesus was right; everything we acquire here eventually rots away or ends up being owned by someone else. In time, everyone physically surrenders everything to the sad realities of living in a sin dominated world, and we all lose all that we worked so hard to obtain.

The Lord Jesus, understanding the world system and the way of life, rightly instructed to lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven.” It’s quite simple really; make investments with your time, energy, and possessions which deposit spiritual funds in your heavenly bank account. These intangible deposits will be invisible to the human eye, but recognised and valued highly by the Lord of glory. They will be securely stored by none other than God Almighty where no earthly influence can diminish them.

A doctor’s advice

Doctor Luke recorded Jesus expanding on the relationship between earthly and heavenly treasure. Jesus explained; “make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous wealth (money), so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal dwellings” (Luke 16:9). Jesus, who owned nothing of earthly significance, was in fact the wealthiest man who ever live. Jesus’ investment advice has stood the test of time and eternity and is proven to be totally dependable.

Put simply; use your earthly money and possessions as tools for introducing people to the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Then, when all your money fails to keep your ageing body alive, you will discover your dividends in heaven. The people who came to know Christ because of your right use of financial resources will be in heaven to welcome you upon arrival. Now that’s a genuine long-term investment of true value.

As “our citizenship is in heaven” (Philippians 3:20) I encourage you to evaluate the resources at your disposal. Invest wisely, not based upon this worlds failing values, but determined by the Saviour of your soul. Chose treasures that will last for eternity! As a believer you have been blessed “in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 1:3). Draw from God’s resources to use His creativity in His strength and courage to serve others with the Good News of Jesus Christ.


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Love the body of Christ with Christ’s love

For a Christian, it’s inspiring to realise that “God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit” (Romans 5:5). As stunning as that truth is, each Christian is responsible for what they do with that love. While it’s one thing knowing that nothing “will be able to separate us from the love of God” (Romans 8:39), it’s a whole different matter as to how you live His love toward others.

It should go without saying, but your God oriented love must “be genuine,” and to do that the Lord says you are to “abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good” (Romans 12:9). This is where Christians often have a conflict of interest. Worldly influence and selfish desires have little or no interest in holy living.

At some point, sin whispers in your ear saying; it’s OK to do and say what you want. After all, sin argues, you’re entitled to be honest, even though your honesty may crush the other person. Sin always puts self-expression before others, and usually at others expense.

Evaluate as God does

Since “all that you” do is to “be done in love” (1 Corinthians 16:14); it’s healthy to evaluate what you think is the way you express love to others. Looking at self from God’s perspective is purifying, especially when considering the way in which you do and say love. Remember, “love builds up” (1 Corinthians 8:1), it does not beat the other person down.  It doesn’t manipulate, nor does it use innuendo or silence to manoeuvre others to where you want.

Authentic, Christ generated love, isn’t motivated by self-gratification. Therefore, self-vindication is excluded in preference for outdoing “one another in showing honour” (Romans 12:10). Self always comes second, just as it did for Jesus Christ, who “humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:8). No wonder Paul instructed the Philippi church to “have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5). Beloved, choose self-sacrificing love! It’s the only legitimate love which is from Christ, and others need to see, hear, and feel it through your life.

That being said; the body of Christ does not consist of strict ethnic groupings such as “Greek and Jew …but Christ is all, and in all” (Colossians 3:11). In this Jesus culture, believers are called to “put on then… compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive” (Colossians 3:12-13).

Attitude grows behaviour

These attitudes and behaviours make the church a sanctuary for believers in Jesus Christ who chose to make Christ’s behaviour their behaviour. And what a wonderful place the church is when Christians behave like Jesus!

However, take note of what Paul says is the crowning jewel of all Christ-like character; “above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony” (Colossians 3:14). True unity is constructed with Christ’s love as the glue which pulls every other beautiful attribute together in humility towards one another. “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus (Philippians 2:4-5).

I encourage you to love the body of Christ with Christ’s love by passing these truths on to another believer for their benefit. Share Christ for His glory and enjoy!


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