Sunday, January 17, 2010

Where Do You Store Your Treasure? - Jan 17

Happy New Year everyone! I'd like to apologize for not posting sooner. I had a good Christmas break even though I was busy with work and classes. Better that than just hanging around at home I guess. My studies are going well with my first win in moot court. Woo Hoo! I'm finding that the second time around was easier than the first. Isn't the way that it always works? It's going to take some time to get my legs under me as a new paralegal.

I wanted to start the new year with the concept of treasure. What I'd like to talk about today is the consequences of leaving your worldly faith behind and following after Jesus. While our reward in eternity is beyond our comprehension, the consequences here on Earth are very real and understandable. Here are three points to consider if you want to follow Jesus.

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
(Matthew 6:19-21)

Sacrificing Your Most Valued Treasure: Your Sense of Self-Importance

The number one obstacle without question is a person's sense of pride. After all, you're a good person. You donate to charity. You perform good deeds. You haven't done anything that bad, have you? You may even be a regular church-goer! All of that means nothing. When we try to substitute our works for grace we are fundamentally rejecting what Jesus did for us at the cross.

Christianity isn't so much about religious doctrines, it's about a relationship with the Father by way of the Son. Without acknowledging His Lordship (and therefore His mastery over us) we become a narcissist and a sociopath. A narcissist only has space in their busy lives for themselves. All their relationships are a disaster because they cannot make room in their heart for anybody else. As far as the sociopath is concerned, the universe revolves around them and woe unto that individual that fails to acknowledge this salient point.

Your Second Most Valued Treasure: Your Position and Your Power

"When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.
(Matthew 6:5)

Perhaps you're a person of influence and power. Maybe you have a reputation to protect. Or perhaps you're well thought of, a man about town as it were. Understand that all that can be taken away from you just like that. And if you're an unbeliever with position and you make that fateful decision to follow Christ, you better expect a sudden downgrade.

Do you want to be a celebrity? If your dream is for the world to fall on their knees and follow after you, becoming a Christian would be the worst thing you could possibly do. We hear of stories of individuals who had the money, the social status, the cars, the clothes and all the material advantages. They had the things which are supposed to make a person happy. Then they turn to Christ and usually end up paying a heavy price for their conversion.

Your Third Most Valued Treasure: Your Comfort Zone

Understand that God is not out to get you or to traumatize you with endless adversity. But what He is going to do is to take you out of your comfort zone in order for personal growth to occur. In short, God is going to take you on a path to discovery that few will ever tread. You can forget about people identifying with you because they won't. You've already surpassed them in godly knowledge and understanding. They're eating the dust of the trail that you're blazing and they don't like it. You've become a complete stranger to them.

If you want to be a pro in anything, be it theological or secular, be prepared to lead a lonely existence. Because the more competent and knowledgeable you become, the fewer and fewer peers (and friends) you will have. If want to rise above mediocrity, you'd better be prepared to shed friends and gain enemies.

We Walk by Faith, Not by Sight

"Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.
(Matthew 6:24,25)

Don't get this ridiculous idea that once you decide to follow Jesus everything is going to be sunshine and roses. You will still be buffeted by the storms of life. In all likelihood these storms will increase in intensity. But you will have something that an unbelieving world does not: A solid foundation upon which to stand. Nowhere does the Bible promise a life of ease for those who become a disciple of Jesus. What the Bible does promise is the resurrection of the body and life everlasting. Can the mind comprehend such glorious wonders? It cannot. And that's the rub. We trust in God's promises, not Man's. A Christian would have it no other way.

Johnny Cash

1 comment:

Johnny Cash said...

Thank you for leaving a comment. Of course I don't understand a thing you're saying. If you know English please leave a message in English. Otherwise I can't respond in a proper fashion. Nevertheless, this is perhaps a first for me, someone leaving a comment in a foreign language (Japanese?). So thank you again for this watershed moment.

Cordially, JC