This week, Michael writes that the Holy Bible says in Matthew 6, "Lay up for yourself treasures in heaven... for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." To deal with the temporary trials of this world, we must focus on our fellowship with our Lord. When we walk with our Lord as men and women of God, we don't need to worry about the finish line. We focus our minds on the next step. Life is a journey and pilgrimage with the gates of Heaven at the of our earthly life’s trail. We are sojourners on earth; the kingdom of heaven is our home. According to the New Testament, a "Sabbath day's journey" is the distance we walk in a day. The 1828 Webster’s dictionary defines the word “journey” as: Passage from one place to another (like from earth to heaven). The journey is a moment by moment, a step by step walk with our Lord Jesus Christ.
Isaiah 25:7-8 says that the veil that separates us from God is death. In the Garden of Eden, God said to Adam and Eve, "the day that you eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt surely die." Death started the concept of time. Without death, there is eternity. Death is the result of sin. Sin and its associated death separates us from God. When Adam sinned, this sin resulted in corruption, decay and death. Jesus Christ came to redeem us from sin and restore our unity with God.
Without death, we would step into the presence of God without a veil. No one can stand before God, who is a consuming and everlasting fire. Those who step into his presence without holiness will be consumed. Combustible materials: wood, hay, and stubble are consumed. Righteous materials: gold, silver and precious stones are refined and purified by the fire. To “confess” means to "agree with reality." It. means to "speak the same word." To speak the truth of the word, we must understand the truth of “The Word”. We must know and confess our Lord Jesus Christ for He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. The word doesn't say, "Get treasures in heaven." Instead it says, "lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven." Acquire now that which God says is important. Set your affections on the Lord Jesus Christ and everything else in this life will be covered.
In Luke 9, Jesus said that whoever puts his hand to the plow and turns back is not fit for the kingdom of God. What is your priority? Like Lot's wife who looked back longingly at Sodom and Gomorrah, we will be destroyed if we cherish the things of this world above the things of heaven. Where is your treasure?
We mourn when we lose a dear brother or sister in Christ who has passed away. But we grieve not as others who have no hope. According to Hebrews, there is a rest for those who have finished the race. 1 Corinthians 15 says that we believe in the resurrection. In order to live in eternity, we first must die. Death is the entrance into eternity. Death is God's mechanism whereby believers enter into His presence. Death, where is thy sting, O grave, where is thy victory? At the resurrection, death will be swallowed up in victory. This is the hope of life everlasting: to leave the sin that doth so easily entangle us. Therefore, let us run with patience the race that is set before us. Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross and is set down upon the right hand of the throne of God.
As the song says, Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in his wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, In the light of his glory and grace.
May God richly bless you!
Your brother in Christ, Michael