Tag Archives: Treasure

Transient treasures

Are transient treasures the measuring stick that you use to determine how well you and others are doing in life?    What captures your interests, consumes your energy, do you fantasize about; are these transient or eternal?1

Using worldly things to define us means that they end up controlling us.  We want to create the impression that everything is ok, that we’ve got it all figured out, that we are a success; so we continue to pursue transient things in an attempt to define ourselves.  Worldly wealth is the primary vehicle that most people use to build their identity, significance and worth.  We control how others view us by what we drive, what we wear, where we live and what we do for a living.  Could it be that the pace of our lives has gotten so fast because we are pursuing so many things that we think will make our lives work better, but in the end they are all transient?  Maybe we shouldn’t spend all of our time chasing those things which are transient.  The more earthly treasure we have, the more maintenance they require.  Be careful not to set your focus on the applause of men or the treasures of this world.

Heart Matters

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1Matthew 6:19-24

Iranian Pastor Faces Execution for Refusing to Recant Christian Faith

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matthew 5:10–12 ESV)

Pray for Youcef Nadarkhani, he is facing death for his faith in Iran.  Read more here.  Is Jesus worth that much to us?

VIDEO UPDATE

Ultimate Trust

“Behold, the LORD is riding on a swift cloud and comes to Egypt; and the idols of Egypt will tremble at his presence, and the heart of the Egyptians will melt within them” (Isaiah 19:1 ESV).  “They will inquire of the idols and the sorcerers, and the mediums and the necromancers; and I will give over the Egyptians into the hand of a hard master, and a fierce king will rule over them, declares the Lord GOD of hosts.” (Isaiah 19:3–4 ESV).

Egypt’s ultimate trust was in their idols and the ultimate result was oppression.  Where is your ultimate trust?  Does that trust lead you in to freedom or oppression?  The interesting thing about idols is that you can inquire of them for wisdom and direction, but they don’t answer.  Where do you go for wisdom, insight and direction?

Religion Blinds Us to the Things of God

Religion blinds us to the things of God and drives us to justify ourselves to further our own agendas, thinking that we are working for God.  All men are under God’s sovereign control, and nothing that we have is a result of our own efforts, but rather His grace.  Jesus’ restraint in the face of His creation’s ridicule, mocking and belittling is something that we cannot grasp; how the Creator of all things would allow his creation to torture, belittle, and kill him is mind boggling.  God is much more glorified in the cross than if we had never sinned.  The restraint that the Creator displays in the cross is something that we cannot grasp.

John 18:25-19:26

Has Jesus Been Worth It?

“you care less for God and truth than for security and comfort. Your fear of losing them powers your unbelief. Jesus once said, ‘whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?’ So I need to ask you: is security and comfort worth that,”

Has Jesus Been Worth It?

God nourishes the soul

“For it is not mere words that nourish the soul, but God Himself, and unless and until the hearers find God in personal experience they are not the better for having heard the truth. The Bible is not an end in itself, but a means to bring men to an intimate and satisfying knowledge of God, that they may enter into Him, that they may delight in His Presence, may taste and know the inner sweetness of the very God Himself in the core and center of their hearts.”
The Pursuit of God by AW Tozer (location 85 Kindle Edition)

An insatiable desire

The bible paints the portrait of the soul’s panting, thirsting, yearning, longing, desiring after God.  Regardless of whether life is going well or not, there is an overarching drive to know God more deeply and walk with Him more fully.  We see in the pages of scripture a lusty, greedy, insatiable desire to get more of God.  Why is it that we are so easily content to compartmentalize our faith, to do it on Sundays and live morally clean lives in mechanical obedience?  Paul seems to be greedy for more of God and says that asking whether something is right or wrong is the wrong question to ask.  Paul, instead asks, does this get me more of Jesus or does it rob me of knowing Him more deeply?
If the biblical standard is a pursuit of God to chase Him, love Him, follow Him and be conformed into His image at all cost because of the surpassing greatness of knowing and loving Him as our ultimate Treasure, then why don’t we?  Why is it so unusual to find the man or woman in the church that has an insatiable desire to know God?

“As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?” (Psalms 42:1–2 ESV)

“O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.” (Psalms 63:1 ESV)

“Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. GOD, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places.” (Habakkuk 3:17–19 ESV)

“Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.” (Philippians 3:8–11 ESV)

“For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees?” (Romans 8:19–24 ESV)

Glorious Day (Living He Loved Me)

Glorious Day (Living He Loved Me) by Casting Crowns (itunes)
Songwriters: John Mark Hall; Michael Jr Bleecker

One day when Heaven was filled with His praises
One day when sin was as black as could be
Jesus came forth to be born of a Virgin
Dwelt among men, my example is He

Word became flesh and the light shined among us
His glory revealed

Living He loved me, dying He saved me
And buried He carried my sins far away
Rising He justified freely forever
One day He’s coming, oh, glorious day, oh, glorious day

One day they led Him up Calvary’s mountain
One day they nailed Him to die on a tree
Suffering anguish, despised and rejected
Bearing our sins, my Redeemer is He

Hands that healed nations, stretched out on a tree
And took the nails for me

‘Cause living He loved me, dying He saved me
And buried He carried my sins far away
Rising He justified freely forever
One day He’s coming, oh, glorious day, oh, glorious day

One day the grave could conceal Him no longer
One day the stone rolled away from the door
Then He arose, over death He had conquered
Now He’s ascended, my Lord evermore

Death could not hold Him
The grave could not keep Him from rising again

Living He loved me, dying He saved me
And buried He carried my sins far away
Rising He justified freely forever
One day He’s coming, oh, glorious day, oh, glorious day
Glorious day

One day the trumpet will sound for His coming
One day the skies with His glories will shine
Wonderful day, my beloved one bringing
My Savior Jesus is mine

Living He loved me, dying He saved me
And buried He carried my sins far away
Rising He justified freely forever
One day He’s coming, oh, glorious day, oh, glorious day
Glorious day, oh, glorious day

God is our soverign Authority and our greatest Treasure

There is a grounding effect that happens in our lives as we understand our place in the universe before the holy God.  God is not only our sovereign Authority, but also our greatest Treasure; if He is only our sovereign Authority then our faith will be oppressive and marked by duty & obligation.  If you see Him as both, your faith will be marked by delight and joy; the latter is the picture the bible paints of authentic faith.