05 March 2014

Store Up for Yourself Treasures in Heaven

Why do you do what you do? And why do you not do what you should?

What is it that drives you and motivates you? What is it that you’re after? What do you love?

Where do you invest yourself and hope to find your life?

Your true and lasting life, your future and your hope, are not found with man on earth but only with God in heaven.

You have life with Him forever, not by your own reason and strength, not by your own works and efforts, but by the grace of God in Christ.

So what does that mean for you, and what does it look like? How shall you not receive this grace of God in vain?

He’s after your heart; that’s what He wants, what He demands. He doesn’t need your stuff; it's really His. He doesn’t need your help, for all that you are and have comes from Him and depends upon Him. No, He’s after your heart — that you should fear, love and trust in Him.

But when He has your heart — and you thus have divine, eternal life in Him — then He also has your body and soul, your reason and all your senses, your time, treasures and talents, your home and family, and all your stuff besides (which all belong to Him by right, but He entrusts them to you in love).

When He has your heart, then your entire body and life are offered to Him as a living sacrifice in loving service to your neighbor. Then you practice your righteousness (by faith) before Him alone at all times, while outwardly you pour yourself out in love for your neighbor — family, friends and foes alike — with forgiveness of their trespasses against you, and with no expectation of thanks or reward.

This is how you live by faith: You entrust yourself entirely to God, and trust Him truly for everything that you need; and so you give generously to others without counting the cost or considering what’s in it for you.

In this way do you live with your heart already with God in heaven, and your body and soul shall hereafter follow forever and ever.

If, on the other hand, your heart, soul, mind and strength are spent upon this world, invested in this life on earth, and motivated by the kingdoms and treasures of man, then your body and soul will perish finally and forever along with all of these false gods you prize so highly.

You may stockpile a real treasure trove here and now, but it will not last or survive — it will not save you — it will not remain yours — you won’t take it with you.

Let go your heart of that which is not God.

Give up your adulterous affair with the idols of this world.

Repent of all your misplaced love and affection, and return to the Lord your God.

Stop stuffing your mouth and your stomach with that which ultimately ends up in the sewer, and stop pampering your body with creature comforts as frail and finite as you are.

Do not look for life and love anywhere else but the Lord Jesus Christ. Here He is with you and speaks to you by His Ministry of the Gospel.

He has reconciled Himself and His Father to you and all the world by His Cross: by His fulfillment of the Law in perfect faith and love, and by His suffering of the punishment that you (and all) have deserved.

He has reconciled the world to Himself. You, then, be reconciled to Him. Hear and trust His Word. Rely upon His gifts.

It is by His prayer, by His faith and His fasting, by His agony and bloody sweat, by His Cross and Passion, by His divine charity toward you, that you are presented to the Father in righteousness for peace and rest and life everlasting.

And behold, He has left behind a grain offering and a drink offering for you: bread and wine, which are His Body and His Blood — the acceptable sacrifice that He has offered to the Father on your behalf — with which He now feeds you for the forgiveness of all your sins, for the nourishment of faith and life.

Eat, therefore; and drink. Here is your treasure. Here is the heart of Christ for you. Here is your foretaste of heaven.

In the Name + of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

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