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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Heavenly for the Earthly

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth,” Jesus taught, “where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for your selves 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” (Matthew 6:19-21). What we hold close reveals what we have in our heart.

These are well-turned phrases which tell us to place our treasures in heaven and avoid the pitfalls of earthly concerns. We are to give ourselves away in order to later receive something much better. We are to die to self so we can live to Christ. Perhaps we treat God’s biblical truths as nothing more than platitudes because they call for sacrifice. Because we serve two masters (Luke 6:24), we sit on the fence, unable to give up the importance of earthly things. Whatever the reason for our obstinacy, we end up coveting possessions and relationships which give sensory comfort instead of seeking an abiding relationship with the Lord which offers both earthly and eternal fulfillment (Luke 6:33).

How do you store treasures in heaven? We begin by replacing the demands of the earthly for the expectation of the heavenly. God doesn’t demand anything. He just expects because He always see your potential.

How do you find God’s expectations? Fall in love with Jesus for a lifetime. Put Him first in all your decisions. If you submit only for the moment you miss two promises of falling in love with Jesus: understanding God’s provision and an opportunity to grow in faith.

If you are married, place your spouse next. Falling in love with Jesus means you are willing to sacrifice, and makes love for your spouse greater. This doesn’t mean it is easy. Surrendering to your spouse because of your love for Christ (Ephesians 5:21) is the only way you will find the strength to commit through the hard times. If you have children, they are your next priority. Too many people put the needs of their children above the needs of a spouse. When you put a spouse first, your children will later understand the love of two parents who stood in agreement, and offered them loving discipline. As you daily love these “tender mercies” God has given you, they become your treasures in heaven.

Your ministry for Jesus Christ is where the passion of your faith is truly revealed. Your vocation or job is where your faith is seen by others who are not a part of your family. What you offer in ministry and in your vocation in regards to responsibility and in relationships speaks of your faith in Christ. 

Then there is your daily life. This is the place where you learn to handle the blessings and the trials of life in a responsible way. When our blessings are placed first instead of Christ, they become earthly possessions instead of heavenly inspiration. Likewise, trials that are not given to Christ (Philippians 4:6-7) rob us of His lesson and His peace. When Christ is truly in our lives then these things are handled in the proper spiritual prospective.

When we place ourselves completely under the Lordship of Jesus Christ we invest in heaven. The more we reach for His expectations, the less the importance of earthly demands. We learn what it means to walk in His Spirit above earthly possessions or concerns of life (Galatians 5:25). It doesn’t matter if your life appears mix-matched, because it really isn’t. You have traded the earthly for the heavenly.

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