By: Norm Rasmussen
Jesus made a statement recorded in the Bible that baffled me for years, which is''For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.' Maybe this statement never baffled you. Assuming you've heard it, maybe it came across to you as perfectly clear the first time you read it or heard someone else speak about it. I have to admit ' I've been very slow in getting a great deal of revelation from God's Word at times, but as the saying goes, 'Better late than never.'
Well, the purpose of this writing is to help people receive understanding of Matthew 6:19-21 much earlier in their life than I got it in mine. Thus 'sooner is always better than later when it comes to understanding spiritual truth!' so they can begin making wise spiritual investment choices as soon as possible instead of making unwise spiritual investment choices like I have done for far too many years of my life.
Let's now use our imagination, shall we? Let's imagine that we are standing on the ground, looking up at Jesus on the cross. Let's try to go beyond the pain we see Him in and the cruel treatment He had received leading up to this crucifixion. Let's go deeper than what we observe on His outside. Let's imagine that we can see inside His heart ' His very spirit. You may be asking...'Any hints, Norm, of what I should be looking for?'
Here's a suggestion. Consider looking at the spirit of Jesus through the lens of what the scripture says, starting with Matthew 6:19, where Jesus is speaking: 'Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroys and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven.'
Does this come to mind in your thoughts as you gaze into His innermost being? I'M HIS TREASURE!
You ARE, I hope you know. You are more valuable to Him than His very OWN life was while He hung there on the cross waiting to die ' for YOU. Now if that isn't priceless love and mercy, I don't know what IS. Him sacrificing Himself for you so that you could gain some comprehension of just how much He loves YOU. Him sacrificing Himself for you so that when you die, you will be one of His unique, special treasures to share His joy with throughout eternity.
Can you comprehend such a truth?! It IS true, by the way. God created you for the very purpose of being His special lover and friend that no other person can possibly be. Oh ' you may have characteristics that are similar to others, but NO ONE thinks exactly the way you think. NO ONE thinks the exact same thoughts as you think them. God has created each of us to think uniquely different so that we won't be a clone to someone else and be especially unique to Him.
Now ' let's continue to stretch our imagination a little further. Let's reverse positions and imagine that YOU are the one on the cross being cruelly crucified instead of Jesus. As others gaze deep into your heart ' your spirit - what do THEY see in YOU? Do they see a burning motive in you to help others be a unique lover and friend with Jesus through eternity ' or do they see a great deal of apathy about the matter?
Let's remove ourselves from that setting and imagine being in a shopping mall filled with people OR perhaps on a popular beach with hundreds and hundreds of people enjoying themselves in the warm sunshine. And the sound of the waves coming ashore, helping us to concentrate on their beautiful, relaxing mother nature music instead of the cares of this world we took to the beach with us. When we set our eyes on the people around us, are we looking at shapely girls and ladies -- handsome guys that we would like attention from ' or do we see beyond that and WONDER what eternity will hold in store for that person? Will that person be a lover and unique personal friend of Jesus for eternity, which is what God created them for ' or will that person miss out on that privilege and spend eternity wondering what it MAY have been like -- yet then knowing it is too late to do anything about?
People are God's most priceless treasure, other than perhaps angels who never rebelled against Him. And BECAUSE people ' not angels - are the only treasures on earth we have any influence over when it comes to their eternal destiny, should it really be all that big of a mystery WHY God tells us to place our investments in people's eternal fate rather than than being so focused on things that steal so much of our time, energy, finances, careers, gifts (abilities God has given us), or our possessions, etc., ' things of this nature that can be taken away from us in a moment of time should God allow?
The New Testament Bible makes it abundantly clear that there are only two places where people will spend eternity. Either with Jesus ' with God - experiencing eternal life ' eternal joy ' or without Jesus - experiencing eternal separation from God - eternal spiritual death; eternal sorrow and agony ... the exact opposite of eternal joy. God has given us free will to decide whether we believe what has been recorded for us in the New Testament Bible is from Him or not, and has also told us that we will be rewarded accordingly on the judgment day for what we believe and DID about it.
Roughly, for the first 35 years of my life, I spent countless wasted thoughts; wasted time with sports - hobbies; wasted finances; wasted pursuit(s) of a fulfilling career; wasted brain cells on too much booze ' the list of 'wasting' can go on and on. Why do I say WASTED? Because none of my life's pursuits up until age 35 were focused on spiritual investments ' until God took a good sized spiritual baseball bat and hit me up alongside the head with it that caused me to wake up and realize that this life isn't supposed to exist for God to always please ME. Once the stars faded away from that baseball bat head smack, I grew to realize I was created to PLEASE my Creator ' not the other way around.
Saying it another way: God doesn't exist to grant me MY heart's desires. He expects me to learn what the desires are of His heart FIRST, and then He'll determine how He wants to meet some of the desires of my heart.
That's really not all that complex, now is it? If you've ever been married, or ever had a tender relationship with someone, it doesn't take very long to come to the realization that if your spouse or intimate friend constantly demands to have his or her desires met and could care less about your desires being met ' that is a relationship you would rather get out of instead of working at trying to make more fulfilling when you know that the more you invest in it, the more pain it's going to ultimately bring to you.
I'm so thankful now for the pain that was involved for me to be brought to the realization before it was too late that the SOLE reason Jesus was on that cross from His perspective was to provide the very means whereby lost souls like me might be saved from eternal separation from God because of my (their) sins against Him and others might be forgiven ' to experience for all eternity what God created them to experience in the first place: Eternal joy with Him. Unimaginable creativity and immeasurable power that will be entrusted to those whose sole existence is to bring God and others ever increasing joy with zero self-interest in mind. And ohhhh myyyy ' as we sow joy into others ' others will have the same selfless purpose in mind: To sow joy into God and us.
And so dear reader, I pray that this writing is something the Holy Spirit uses to help motivate you in digging deeper to become wiser and more diligent in God, and never stop inquiring from Him as to what He would have you do to be the WISEST spiritual investor you can possibly be in the time that remains before your life is done here on this earth.
Remember ' it is lost souls that takes TOP priority when it comes to heavenly investments that will reap eternal dividends for those in heaven. And once a lost soul unites with Jesus Christ in heart and in purpose, helping that spiritually born again soul become everything God desires for that saved soul to become in this life to also get fully engaged in the work of God's Kingdom (which is soul winning and spiritual discipleship) is also on the TOP of God's heavenly investments that will reap eternal fruitful payback.
And lastly ' whether on our job, in the mall, or on the beach ' is it possible that God would have us speak to someone about eternal truth that can affect their eternal destiny when before we were too fearful, or too self-engrossed, of doing so? Is it possible that many of us have deluded ourselves into thinking we have already perfected the pursuit of being the very most fruitful WITNESS we can be for God?
I must confess to you ' I have NOT.
Yet I know that God wants me forgetting my shortcomings of the past, and press onward to be a more available, fearless witness for Him and not having Him to look for someone else to help a person get their mind off earthly matters, and try to help them refocus them on eternal matters of spiritual truth. Eternity awaits us all ' either to be spent with our Creator ' or ' eternally separated from our Creator. That is what the Bible clearly communicates in the New Testament.
God has entrusted His people ' His church ' His bride ' His disciples ' to work with Him in this task. Let's ask ourselves frequently: 'How am I doing regarding laying up spiritual treasures in heaven?'
As sort of a P.S. to this writing, I personally believe that investing our money wisely is very important in this life as I believe God would say the same. So please don't let anyone assume that I'm implying in any way that God doesn't want us concerning ourselves with making an increase with the money we have to invest with in earthly things. Fair enough?
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