Mar 12, 2011
Lyric video in the style of iWorship to Jesus Culture’s “One Thing Remains.”
Mar 12, 2011
Lyric video in the style of iWorship to Jesus Culture’s “One Thing Remains.”
Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. —nkjv Matthew 6:20
Poorly installed electric wiring caused a fire that burned down our newly built home. The flames leveled our house within an hour, leaving nothing but rubble. Another time, we returned home from church one Sunday to find our house had been broken into and some of our possessions stolen.
In our imperfect world, loss of material wealth is all too common—vehicles are stolen or crashed, ships sink, buildings crumble, homes are flooded, and personal belongings are stolen. This makes Jesus’ admonition not to put our trust in earthly wealth very meaningful (Matt. 6:19).
Nothing lasts forever—except what our God enables us to do for others.
Jesus told a story of a man who accumulated abundant treasures and decided to store up everything for himself (Luke 12:16-21). “Take life easy,” the man told himself; “eat, drink and be merry” (v. 19). But that night he lost everything, including his life. In conclusion, Jesus said, “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God” (v. 21).
Material wealth is temporary. Nothing lasts forever—except what our God enables us to do for others. Giving of our time and resources to spread the good news, visiting those who are lonely, and helping those in need are just some of the many ways to store up treasure in heaven (Matt. 6:20).
In what ways are you storing up treasures in heaven? How might you change and grow in this area of your life?
Our real wealth is what we invest for eternity.
Pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. —Matthew 9:38
The key to the missionary’s difficult task is in the hand of God, and that key is prayer, not work— that is, not work as the word is commonly used today, which often results in the shifting of our focus away from God. The key to the missionary’s difficult task is also not the key of common sense, nor is it the key of medicine, civilization, education, or even evangelization. The key is in following the Master’s orders— the key is prayer. “Pray the Lord of the harvest….” In the natural realm, prayer is not practical but absurd. We have to realize that prayer is foolish from the commonsense point of view.
From Jesus Christ’s perspective, there are no nations, but only the world. How many of us pray without regard to the persons, but with regard to only one Person— Jesus Christ? He owns the harvest that is produced through distress and through conviction of sin. This is the harvest for which we have to pray that laborers be sent out to reap. We stay busy at work, while people all around us are ripe and ready to be harvested; we do not reap even one of them, but simply waste our Lord’s time in over-energized activities and programs. Suppose a crisis were to come into your father’s or your brother’s life— are you there as a laborer to reap the harvest for Jesus Christ? Is your response, “Oh, but I have a special work to do!” No Christian has a special work to do. A Christian is called to be Jesus Christ’s own, “a servant [who] is not greater than his master” (John 13:16), and someone who does not dictate to Jesus Christ what he intends to do. Our Lord calls us to no special work— He calls us to Himself. “Pray the Lord of the harvest,” and He will engineer your circumstances to send you out as His laborer.
“When the Son of man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?” We all have faith in good principles, in good management, in good common sense, but who amongst us has faith in Jesus Christ? Physical courage is grand, moral courage is grander, but the man who trusts Jesus Christ in the face of the terrific problems of life is worth a whole crowd of heroes. The Highest Good, 544 R
Sometimes we want to pray for another person but aren’t sure what to say. If you’ve ever been confused about how to intercede for someone, Paul’s prayer in Colossians is appropriate for every person and every situation. Because it aligns perfectly with God’s will, you can ask these requests with confidence—both for yourself and for others:
To be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding. Not only do we need to know God’s plan for our lives; we also require discernment to distinguish His guiding voice from our own self-directed notions.
To walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, pleasing Him in all ways. Our lives should be patterned after the One we follow, with a goal of glorifying Him.
To bear fruit in every good work. Instead of being wrapped up in our own jobs, possessions, pleasures, and plans, we should be contributing to others’ lives.
To increase in the knowledge of God. By reading His Word and applying it to our lives, we will gain a deeper understanding of the Lord.
To be strengthened with His power so we remain steadfast. The Christian life can be lived only with the Holy Spirit’s power.
To joyously give thanks for all God has done for us. Believers should be characterized by joy and gratitude.
Too often we focus our requests on temporal needs and miss the deeper spiritual work God wants to do. Imagine how effective your prayers will be if you’ll shift the emphasis of your petitions to the Lord’s desires. He will transform you and the people for whom you intercede.
“If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel.” (Colossians 1:23)
In the New Testament, the use of the definite article “the” always modifies the noun that follows. In this case, “the faith” insists on a particular body of doctrine that defines the Christian life. For instance, as Paul and Barnabas were returning from their initial missionary effort, they went back to each area “confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith” (Acts 14:22).
There are nearly 50 occurrences in the New Testament where “the faith” is used in this way. These references always speak of obedience to specific teachings that embrace the core of the godly lifestyle that represents holiness and the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). Thus, one who is “grounded and settled” in the faith will be both knowledgeable and stable in his Christian testimony and ministry.
It is necessary, of course, to build on the foundation of the Lord Jesus (1 Corinthians 3:11), but only the “gold, silver, precious stones” have any lasting value (1 Corinthians 3:12-15)—hence the requirement in Jude: “It was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 1:3).
Furthermore, those who continue in the faith will not be “moved away from the hope of the gospel.” That hope acts as “an anchor of the soul” (Hebrews 6:19) and is the drive that motivates us to maintain a purity of lifestyle (1 John 3:3). “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58). HMM III
For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ. —2 Corinthians 2:17
Much that passes for Christianity today is the brief bright effort of the severed branch to bring forth its fruit in its season. But the deep laws of life are against it. Preoccupation with appearances and a corresponding neglect of the out-of-sight root of the true spiritual life are prophetic signs which go unheeded. Immediate “results” are all that matter, quick proofs of present success without a thought of next week or next year.
Religious pragmatism is running wild among the orthodox. Truth is whatever works. If it gets results it is good. There is but one test for the religious leader: success. Everything is forgiven him except failure.
A tree can weather almost any storm if its root is sound, but when the fig tree which our Lord cursed “dried up from the roots” it immediately “withered away” (Mark 11:20-21). A church that is soundly rooted cannot be destroyed, but nothing can save a church whose root is dried up. No stimulation, no advertising campaigns, no gifts of money and no beautiful edifice can bring back life to the rootless tree.
Lord, give us solid roots. Forgive us for our preoccupation with success and move in Your church today to restore to us a proper perspective. Amen.
And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy: and were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen. Luke 24:52, 53
One can only conclude that God’s professed children are bored with Him, for they must be wooed to meeting with a stick of striped candy in the form of religious movies, games and refreshments.
It is scarcely possible in most places to get anyone to attend a meeting where the only attraction is God!
So we have the strange anomaly of orthodoxy in creed and heterodoxy in practice. The striped-candy technique has been so fully integrated into our present religious thinking that it is simply taken for granted. Its victims never dream that it is not a part of the teachings of Christ and His apostles.
Any objection to the carryings on of our present golden-calf Christianity is met with the triumphant reply, “But we are winning them!” And winning them to what? To true discipleship? To cross-carrying? To self-denial? To separation from the world? To crucifixion of the flesh? To holy living? To nobility of character? To a despising of the world’s treasures? To hard self-discipline? To love for God? To total committal to Christ?
Of course the answer to all these questions is NO!
We are paying a frightful price for our religious boredom. And that at the moment of the world’s mortal peril!
Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world. JOHN 18:36
In the kingdom of God, the surest way to lose something is to try to protect it, and the best way to keep it is to let it go. This was the word of our Lord Jesus Christ: “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross” (Luke 9:23).
Christ turned from the fallen world of Adam and spoke about another world altogether, a world where Adam’s philosophy is invalid and his technique inoperative. He spoke of the kingdom of God whose laws are exactly opposite to those of the kingdom of men.
So, the true Christian is a child of two worlds. He lives among fallen men, but when he is regenerated, he is called to live according to the laws and principles that underlie the new kingdom. He may, then, find himself trying to live a heavenly life after an earthly pattern—and this is what Paul called “carnal” living. That is why it is vitally important to move up into the life of the Spirit of God. Give up your earthly “treasures” and the Lord will keep them for you unto life eternal!
O Lord, help me to elevate my living today into the life of the Spirit of God. Some days that is just not easy to do! Sustain me today, Lord, when I grow spiritually weak.