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February 10, 2017

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Treasures in Heaven

"But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through and steal: for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." Matthew 6:20-21

What in life do you treasure most? What is your life centered on? What gives you the most satisfaction, joy, and fulfillment? What are the priorities of your life? Jesus gave the parable of the rich man who had great treasure. His barns were full and he made plans to build even larger barns to hold the harvest of the coming year. Leaving God completely out of his life, he says, "And I will say to my soul, 'Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.' But God said unto him, 'Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee; then whose shall these things be, which thou hast provided?'"(Luke 12:19,20).

How descriptive this is of today. The rich man's folly was to count as his the things that might never come to him at all, and to reason "within himself," leaving God completely out of his life. The fulfillment of our lives must come "from without," not "from within" ourselves. The focus of our lives must be on what is in the realm outside ourselves; otherwise, it comes from within us and is stained with a self-centered motive and objective. Life, as God would have us know it, "consists not in the abundance of things a man possesses" (Luke 12:15). Our deepest need is not food, clothing, and shelter. IT IS GOD! Until this void is found in Jesus Christ, our hearts will ever be striving for things that will never fill this void and will be reaching for a treasure that constantly eludes us.

One of the wealthiest men who ever rose to power and influence in the British Empire was Cecil Rhodes. You might be familiar with the Rhodes Scholarships, given to exceptional students from around the world to study for two years at Oxford University in England. At age 27, Rhodes founded the De Beers Mining Co. in South Africa. Within eight short years, he controlled the diamond mining industry. Five years later, the gold mining industry was his. At age 36, he became Prime Minister of Cape Colony. He was so fabulously wealthy that, at his death, his legacy to the British Empire was the whole country of Rhodesia, equal in size to Germany, France, and Spain combined!

Perhaps one of the poorest, and yet one of the happiest men in England, was General William Booth, the founder of The Salvation Army. General Booth and Cecil Rhodes were well acquainted with each other. On one occasion General Booth asked Cecil Rhodes the striking question, "Mr. Rhodes, are you a happy man?" To which Rhodes replied, "Good heavens, no." What a contrast of two men with lives that were motivated and lived by opposite concerns. One was concerned with the accumulation of wealth fueled by self-centeredness. The other, by a heart controlled by God and a life given to a world in great need!

Jesus said, "He that hath the Son hath life" (John 3:36). Our fulfillment must be found OUTSIDE OURSELVES; it must be found in Christ. We are ever seeking to fulfill our desires and dreams within the realm of our own abilities, only to find that having gained them, our fulfillment eludes us. It is Christ, the giver of life, that will fill our void with an abundant life lived for others for our good and HIS GLORY!

© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.


This page was reprinted by permission from: http://litmin.org/dare.php?date=2017-02-10


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