We Are Prepared 

1 Timothy 6:7

“For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.”

Famous American inventor and statesman, Benjamin Franklin, is credited with saying, “Nothing is certain except for death and taxes.” It seems we spend much of our time, effort, and energy, trying to avoid these things, rather than preparing for them. Some of us will exercise regularly, change our diet, and get regular checkups with our family doctor, in an attempt to postpone the inevitable. Others, will avoid any thought whatsoever of death or dying, and live this life as though it will last forever. Some, might have a risk-it-all attitude, where they live life on the edge, while others will attempt to amass as much stuff in this life as possible. Remember the mantra “He who dies with the most toys wins”?While I am not suggesting that eating healthy or enjoying life are bad ideas, I am saying, attempts to avoid or ignore death, are not nearly as important as attempts to prepare for it.

Matthew 6:19-20 “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.”

Jesus explained the folly of living for this life only. He reminds us that all we have acquired in this life, is subject to theft or decay. Not long ago, a water line under our house sprung a leak and ruined the flooring in our living room. I can remember the excitement on my wife’s face when the floor was first laid. While we knew it would not last forever, neither of us thought it would go so quickly. Life is like that, we live as though things will continue on forever, not because evidence suggests it, but because we do not want to face the reality that we are temporal beings with a shelf life. All of us must take seriously the words of the Apostle, realize the brevity of life, and prepare for eternity.

“For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.”

While it is true we can take nothing with us, we certainly can send things on ahead. Jesus maitained, we can store up treasures in heaven. We are all taking a trip one day into the unknown, to a destination where we have never traveled. While we cannot know everything we will face when we arrive, we can prepare in advance for our destination. Step one is to receive Christ; He alone is the way into heaven. Step two, get to know His Word, and live for the things that will outlast this life. The Bible teaches us there are only three things which are eternal: God, His Word, and the souls of men. If we want to live for that which will outlast this life, we must put Jesus first, get to know Him through the pages of our Bible, and seek to impact as many as possible for the kingdom of heaven.

Pastor Jim

Investment 

1 Chronicles 29:3
“Moreover, because I have set my affection on the house of my God, I have given to the house of my God, over and above all that I have prepared for the holy house, my own special treasure of gold and silver.”

David, and others, invested in the temple at great personal cost. They devoted their time, talents, and treasures to ensure that the house of the Lord was built. Their devotion to this project stemmed from realizing that the work of God would outlast them. David would not live to see the temple, but knew that his investment would impact the nation long after his departure. For years to come, this building would be a place where the Word of God was proclaimed, and commitments to the Lord were made, as each of Israel’s revivals centered around the events that took place at this building.

It seems we have lost the concept of thinking generationally. We live in a time that we want immediate return on any sort of investment we make. If a stock does not act the way we want, we sell, if a relationship does not give back what we think it should, we move on, and if the church does not meet our needs, we look for another one. Those who are willing to break this trend and look at their live as it relates, not just to time, but to eternity, are the ones who will make investments that will impact generations to come. I recently stood in a large chapel built in the late 1800’s. Over the past 125 years, thousands of souls have entered eternity by entering its doors. Those who invested in its construction have treasures being stored up in eternity long after they have passed.

Take some time to consider what eternal investments you have been making; they may impact eternity long after you have gone to be with the Lord.

Pastor Jim

 

Treasures In Heaven

Matthew 6:21
” For Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/b9a/30989304/files/2015/01/img_1301.jpgThe longer I live, the more I have come to realize, so much in life is passing. Things I once coveted and had to have, are bundled up and given to the Salvation Army. That “new car smell” has been replaced with “what’s that smell?” Even relationships that were once so close, have grown distant. The words of Christ shout a deafening cry,

“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.”

Matthew, Chapter 6, not only exhorts us to lay up heavenly treasures, it also sheds light on the spiritual activities that will help us do it. We are told to give, pray, fast and let go.

One of the great struggles we face is how to live for eternity, while living in time. We know, while God could cause manna to appear on our front lawn every morning, He has chosen to call us to “till the ground.” In other words, we all have to work for a living. We need the tangibles like cash, food, housing, etc. How do we balance living here with storing up treasures in heaven. I think one of the keys is found in Verse 33.

“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”

When we decide to no longer worry, to no longer be consumed with the things of this life, and instead, put our full confidence in Jehovah, as our provider, we will be able to put Him first. When that happens, we will see  He is, in fact, able to meet our every need.

Today, whether you go to work, school, or stay at home, put Jesus in first place. Seek to please Him with every step, and watch as He uses the details of your day as opportunities to store up treasures in heaven.

Pastor Jim