Grace For The Journey
Today is the last of my 3-part blog on Treasure Hunters. We have been looking at what Jesus said to His disciples in Matthew 6:19-21, “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.” In this brief but penetrating passage, Jesus sets forth four powerful truths that relate to treasure hunting. Today we will complete our study with the third and fourth truth.
TRUTH #3: The Divine “Abstain/Advance” Imperative From Jesus.
Jesus warns us to abstain from pursuing earth-bound temporary kingdom treasures and to advance in the direction of pursuing heaven-bound eternal kingdom treasures
The conclusion of the whole matter is “No man can serve two masters (Verse 24).” The Bible says in James 4:4, “… Do you know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”
There is a choice to be made.
Because it is impossible to have two masters, a choice must be made as to who we are going serve. Are we going to serve the God of heaven or the world? One or the other has to be demoted to a lower position. One has to be relegated to a secondary position in our life. The pursuit of one or the other has to become a lower priority than the other.
God’s Word helps us to understand this:
1 Kings 18:21, “And Elijah came to all the people, and said, ‘How long will you falter between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him…’
Joshua 21:1, “And if it seems evil to you t serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods witch your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”
There is also a cost to be paid.
Making a choice between the God of heaven and the world will prove to be costly either way.
Should we choose to pursue the eternal things of God, we will have less than what we could have of the things of the world. We will be called upon to make sacrifices in terms of temporal pleasures and possessions.
Should we choose to pursue the temporal things of the world, we will have less than what we could have had of that which is eternal.
The decision that we are called upon to make every day of our life is . . .
Which is the greater loss,
The temporal things of earth
The eternal things of heaven?
TRUTH #4: What We Pursue And Possess Ultimately Pursues And Possesses Us.
Jesus reminds us that it is a matter of the heart; “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
It was a matter of the heart for both Adam and Eve. With hearts made for God, they both sought to satisfy their deepest longings in something other than God, something that could never satisfy them, and all humanity has been on a downward spiral ever since.
Satan promised Adam and Eve something they already had – life,
They received something they were never intended to experience – death.
This is always the result of chasing after the wrong kind of treasure. The promise on the front end is attractive and enticing, but at the end of the day, it inevitably leads to some kind of death.
When we hunt for treasure
Outside of the only treasure
That was meant to satisfy us,
We are never satisfied.
King Solomon is an example of this (read the Book of Ecclesiastes for his personal account). He lived to accumulate vast amounts of wealth, education, material possession, and all the pleasures that the heart seeks. The result is that he eclipsed all other kings and rulers who have ever lived, yet his heart was led astray from God. His sad testimony is recorded in Ecclesiastes 2:10-11 is instructive:
“Whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I kept my heart from no pleasure, for my heart found pleasure in all my toil, and this was my reward for all my toil. Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun.”
Apart from God, everything is hollow, empty, and woefully less than God’s best for our lives. Settling for something other than God is settling for a life that is less than God intended for us to live. It is living a life for nothing bigger than life itself.
C.S. Lewis rightly observed in Mere Christianity:
“If you read history, you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were those who thought most of the next. The Apostles themselves, who set on foot the conversion of the Roman Empire, the great men who built up the Middle Ages, the English who abolished the Slave Trade, all left their mark on Earth, precisely because their minds were occupied with heaven. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this one.
Aim at Heaven and you will get earth ‘thrown in’;
Aim at earth and you will get neither.”
It all comes down to identifying what we are living for in this life.”
When we seek the treasures of earth, we live for nothing more than the life we are living. When we seek the treasures of heaven we live for something so much more than the life we are living.
Living in the light of eternity causes us to pursue treasures that create eternal investments. This is living a life shaped by Christ and His kingdom, which brings a satisfaction that transcends anything we could ever find in the pursuit of anything other than God Himself.
This is God Word … This is Grace for your Journey …
Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!
Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”
Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”