Treasures

Treasures

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.  (Mt 6:19-21)

Treasures of wickedness profit nothing, but righteousness delivers from death.  (Pro 10:2)

The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.  10 More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.  (Ps 19:9-10)

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.  Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, 46 who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.  (Mt 13:44-46)

. . . that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.  (Col 2:2-3)

We may think that wealth and riches profit us in this life.  In some ways, that is true.  However, we should remember that any so-called treasure that is a result of dishonesty or sinful pursuits will not bring us the joy that truly satisfies.  Such treasures will never profit us in eternity. 

But the righteousness that is born of faith in Jesus Christ will deliver us from many evils in this life as well as from eternal death in the next.

The Bible is packed full of precious promises (treasures) for the believer.  There are promises concerning health, healing, prosperity, the blessings of children, and the joy of relationships.  There are promises about every area of life; and all we need to do is to study them, meditate upon them, and to claim them for ourselves.  Here are several examples:

  • Children are a blessing from God.  (Ps 127:3-5)
  • Great wealth is in the house of the righteous . . . (Prov 15:6a)
  • Who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.  (Ps 103:5)
  • Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, Who teaches you to profit, Who leads you by the way you should go.  (Isa 48:17)
  • For I am the Lord who heals you.  (Ex 15:26)
  • . . . who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.  (1 Pet 2:24)

These are the true treasures of life and of eternity in Jesus Christ.

Wisdom Speaks

Wisdom Speaks

Did you know that wisdom has a voice?  The Scriptures help us to learn this lesson.

Can’t you hear the voice of wisdom? She is standing at the city gates and at every fork in the road, and at the door of every house. Listen to what she says . . .  (Pro 8:1-3 TLB, emphasis added)

“Now therefore, listen to me, my children, for blessed are those who keep my ways.
33 Hear instruction and be wise, and do not disdain it.  34 Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. 35 For whoever finds me finds life, and obtains favor from the Lord; 36 but he who sins against me wrongs his own soul; all those who hate me love death.”
  (Pro 8:32-36)       Wisdom is speaking in this passage of Scripture. 

Why should we listen to the voice of wisdom? 

  • One reason is that the Bible tells us to listen to her voice. (Pro 2:2) 
  • We’re told in the Word to learn wisdom and to gain wisdom. (Ps 90:12; Pro 2:10-11)
  • The Bible says that we’ll be commended for having wisdom. (Pro 12:8)

Wisdom is essential in our lives because wise decisions often prevent sorrow and distress. Using wisdom in life can prevent difficult problems from getting worse, or from even happening at all.  When questioning whether something is right or wrong, wisdom will contribute toward making the best decision. 

Deduction:  Listen for, pay attention to and obey the voice of wisdom! 

The entire Bible is full of the wisdom of God, especially the book of Proverbs.  Read the Bible regularly and read one Proverb a day to sow wisdom into your heart. 

Glorify the Lord

Glorify the Lord

One of our assignments, as believers in Christ, is to glorify the Lord.  Let’s look at what the Scripture says.

My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior . . .  (Lk 1:46-47 NIV)

I will remember the works of the Lord; surely I will remember Your wonders of old. 12 I will also meditate on all Your work, and talk of Your deeds.  (Ps 77:11-12)

I will praise You, O Lord my God, with all my heart, and I will glorify Your name forevermore.  (Ps 86:12)

Let them give glory to the Lord, and declare His praise in the coastlands.  (Isa 42:12)

Glorifying God means to acknowledge His impressiveness and to give Him respect by praising and worshiping Him.  We do this mainly because He alone deserves to be praised, honored and worshiped.

God’s glory is the core of His nature, and we give glory to Him by recognizing it.  In glorifying God, we exalt Him; we recognize and honor His deity; and we elevate Him above all else in our lives and in our thoughts.

Adoration [devotion, high regard, esteem] is also a component of glorifying God.  When we have this type of respect for God, our reverence is shown in ways that we can’t even perceive.  However, other people do notice it, and hopefully it will lead them to ask us for the reasons that we have for the hope that lies within us!

Song in the Night

Song in the Night

I call to remembrance my song in the night; I meditate within my heart, and my spirit makes diligent search.  (Ps 77:6)

The psalmist ransacked his knowledge, his memory, his intelligence—his whole nature, and his entire soul, either to find comfort or to recall the songs of praise that he remembered singing in past times unto the Lord.  He was recalling his songs of praise, making a diligent search for them in his heart.

The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night His song shall be with me—a prayer to the God of my life.  (Ps 42:8) 

The psalmist is trusting in the mercy of God.  His song in the night is a song of praise to God for His salvation and goodness.  It’s a remembrance of all the good things that God has done for him.

You shall have a song as in the night when a holy festival is kept, and gladness of heart as when one goes with a flute, to come into the mountain of the Lord, to the Mighty One of Israel. (Isa 30:29)

In this Bible verse, the prophet reminds the people that the song in the night arises due to gladness of heart, such as the joyous sound of a flute, when praising God and approaching Him in worship.  A wakeful, unsettled night may be relieved with a heartfelt song in the night.

At such times, it’s good for us to remember the Lord, and to know that we need Him.  When troubles, trials, or pains assail us in the night, keeping us awake and in anguish, it is the time to allow the Holy Spirit to instruct us.  It’s a time to feed upon and meditate upon the Word of God—which has the power to comfort us and to teach us. 

This is my comfort in my affliction, for Your word has given me life.  (Ps 119:50, emphasis added)

For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.  (Rom 15:4, emphasis added)

Permit a song in the night and the comfort of God’s Word to minister to your heart when illness, turmoil, or anxieties assail you and attack your sleep.  God’s loving plan for you is that you have peaceful sleep.

I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.  (Ps 4:8)

. . . For so He gives His beloved sleep.  (Ps 127:2)

Treasure

Treasure

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.  (Lk 12:34; Mt 6:21)

. . . but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.  (Mt 6:20)

Sell what you have and give alms; provide yourselves money bags which do not grow old, a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches nor moth destroys.  (Lk 12:33)

For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.  (2 Cor 4:6-7)

The Bible tells us in 2 Corinthians 4:6-7 that the true TREASURE to be cherished above all is the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.  That is the treasure that we believers carry around within us. 

Do you agree with the Bible that the knowledge of God in Jesus Christ is your treasure?  Or do you consider your treasure to be your physical health, physical possessions and wealth, or your earthly power and influence?  I sincerely hope not.  All of those things are temporary—brief and impermanent.

The “knowledge of God in Jesus Christ” means that Jesus Christ is your Savior and Redeemer.  It means that you have accepted Him as your Lord.  What a blessed, all-encompassing wealth Jesus imparts to all who have made Him their Savior and Lord.

Jesus is the One who: 

  • Heals the sick: physically, spiritually, mentally, and emotionally (that means He heals each one of us—when we need it),
  • Raises the dead to life,
  • Surrounds each one of us with His supernatural, miraculous, indefensible, irresistible favor as with a shield,
  • Renews our youth like the eagle’s,
  • Upholds and sustains our lives,
  • Bestows abundant prosperity upon us,
  • Makes peace between us and others because He is our Peacemaker and Advocate,
  • Protects and defends us,
  • Never leaves us nor fails us,
  • Provides for us continuously, and
  • Meets literally every need that we may have now or in the future.

The treasure that we each carry within us, of the knowledge of God through Jesus, our Savior is eternal, never-ending and undying. 

It means that each one of us will have endless peace, love, and joy in the presence of our Savior now and for all eternity. 

That is genuine treasure.

God’s New Thing

God’s New Thing

This is what the Lord says, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.”  (Isa 43:16, 18-19)

God tells us to forget the past.  He calls us to see and to join with Him in His “new thing.”  His new work is to make a road in the desert and provide streams where no one expects them!  Wow! 

He hasn’t changed in doing the impossible!  He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  (Heb 13:8)  Hallelujah!

But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”  (Mt 19:26)  Our God does impossible things.

God wants to do a new thing in each and every heart on earth, but He can only do so when He is invited in.  If you’re a believer, you’ve already given the Lord permission to work in your heart and in your life.  But God wants to continue His work; He may even want to do a new thing in you!  Are you open to Him?

We know that God speaks to mankind in various ways.  First and foremost is through His Word, the Bible.  Other ways in which He speaks to us are:

  • Through creation (Ps 19:1) – We see God’s might and vision in creation.
  • Through circumstances – Whether our life circumstances are beautiful or frightening, they demonstrate to us repeatedly that we need to rely upon God.
  • God speaks by His voice – The Bible is filled with instances of God speaking to people, and He still speaks to us now.  He may speak through His written Word; through people (pastors, other believers, strangers); or through the inner witness of our own heart.

No matter what new goal or new presentation that God may have in mind for each of us, we must always decide to yield to and obey God. 

We need to remember that His plans for us and His desires for us are good, bountiful, and uplifting.  He loves each one of us perfectly and unconditionally.  As we trust Him and yield to Him, He will turn each life into a marvel of beauty and praise.  All glory to God!

“I Shall Not Die”

“I Shall Not Die”

Can it ever be the “wrong” thing to say (along with Psalm 118:17), “I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord.”

First of all, how could agreeing with the Bible be wrong to do?  Some people will say, “Yes, but I knew a brother who confessed that verse but then he passed away, so it was wrong for him to confess that.”  I strongly disagree with this thinking.

Doesn’t the Bible TELL us to hide God’s word in our hearts (memorize it)?  See Deuteronomy 6:6; 11:18; 30:14; Job 22:22; Psalm 19:14. 

Furthermore, doesn’t Romans 10:8 give us specific instructions?

But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach) . . .  (Rom 10:8) When the word is in our mouths, it means that we are speaking it out loud.

This passage from the Bible specifically says that God’s word should be in our mouths and in our hearts.  “Yes,” someone might say, “but maybe NOT certain passages of the Word.” 

Again, I cannot agree.  Doesn’t the very foundation of our faith state that when we accept Christ as our personal Savior and Lord that we have received ETERNAL LIFE

And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.  (Joh 17:3)

. . . that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.  (Joh 3:15)

So for any believer, at ANY time in their lives, to declare that “I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord” is completely in keeping with their faith and their lifelong testimony. 

It is good to understand and to know that when we graduate into eternity, we shall most certainly be ALIVE, and we shall be “declaring the works of the Lord” forever! 

Thanks to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, believers move from victory to victory.  So, be BOLD and CERTAIN in your faith, brothers and sisters!

The Word of God

The Word of God

For the word of God is living and active and full of power [making it operative, energizing, and effective].  It is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating as far as the division of the soul and spirit [the completeness of a person], and of both joints and marrow [the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and judging the very thoughts and intentions of the heart.  (Heb 4:12 AMP)

This verse of the Bible from the Amplified Version is quite clear on the penetrating, discerning power of the Word of God.  How often do we think about the truth that the Scriptures are imbued with God’s power?

Because they are, it is vital that we make use of the Scriptures as a tool, a medicine, a comfort, a basis for praising God, and as our weapon.

The Scriptures were fashioned by God to:

  • Accomplish their task (Josh 21:45; 23:14; Isa 46:10,11),
  • Stand forever (Isa 40:8; 46:10-11; Mt 24:35; Mk 13:31; Lk 21:33; 1 Pet 1:23-25), and
  • Never lie (Num 23:19; 1 Sam 15:29).

There are many mysteries connected with Christianity, but one thing that we can be sure of is that God honors and upholds His own Word.  Do a little studying into the various Scripture references cited above.  You’ll be impressed. 

The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of His heart to all generations.  (Ps 33:11)

We do well to highly value the Scriptures. 

You Will SAY

You Will SAY

If you have faith as a mustard seed, you will SAY to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.  (Mt 17:20b, emphasis added)

But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.  (Rom 10:8-9)

These verses teach us that one consequence of faith is words.  Our faith encourages and inspires us to speak to our situation (circumstances) and command them according to the Word of God.  In Romans 10, we’re reminded that the word of faith is in our mouths and our hearts. The passage then proceeds to elaborate on the “word of faith” message.

Faith says:  “I confess Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, and that God raised Him from the dead; and therefore I am saved.”  This means that in ANY trial, trouble, or evil circumstance in our lives, we can calmly and peacefully expect Jesus to:

  • deliver us,
  • protect us,
  • heal us, and
  • meet our every need.

Study the Bible and locate passages of Scripture that you may speak into your situation with a faith-filled heart.  Then wait in hope and expectation as God works on your behalf.

Out of the Mouth

Out of the Mouth

Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth [words], this defiles a man.  (Mt 15:11 NKJV – parenthesized word added)

But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. (Mt 15:18)

If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are. (1 Cor 3:17)

The definition of defile is:  spoil, sully, impair, debase, or degrade; to desecrate or profane something sacred.  The words that come out of our mouths are capable of defiling us!

From the verses quoted above, we understand that our words can displease God, because we are His holy, sacred temple.  He never wants us to speak words which would degrade us.  Words are the heart’s reaction or response to people or circumstances.  He wants us to respond to all things as He would—with love and mercy.

Jesus is our example in all things.  (1 Pet 2:21-24; Jo 13:13-16)  He has called us to follow Him, as He leads and shepherds us. 

A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good . . .  (Lk 6:45a KJV)  Let us encourage ourselves to speak forth only words which are good and edifying—which bring glory to God and blessings to mankind.