Treasure in Heaven

“Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth.” (Luke 12:33)

The Lord Jesus frequently warned us against trying to accumulate wealth here on Earth. “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth,” He said. Rather, “lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven” (Matthew 6:19-20). In our text above, He even says to sell what we have and give it away. To the rich young ruler, He said: “If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven” (Matthew 19:21).

God’s Word cannot contradict itself, however, so this teaching must also be balanced against a man’s responsibility to “provide…for his own, and specially for those of his own house” (1 Timothy 5:8). Similarly, “the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children” (2 Corinthians 12:14).

We are also encouraged to “give to him that needeth” (Ephesians 4:28) and to sow “bountifully” as “a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:6-7). Such instructions imply that by faithful labor in the vocations God has given us, we shall have the wherewithal to do such things. Ananias and Sapphira were punished not for retaining part of their possessions for their own needs, but rather because they lied about it (Acts 5:1-10). Our giving should be done “with simplicity”—that is, with “singleness” of heart (Romans 12:8).

All we have is of the Lord and should be used in ways that honor Him, in accord with His Word and His providential leading. We should provide judiciously for the needs of those dependent on us, but our own personal needs and wants should be kept minimal so that more can be used in His service and to meet the needs of others. HMM

The First Step Down

Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen. —Ephesians 3:20-21

So necessary to the Church is a lofty concept of God that when that concept in any measure declines, the Church with her worship and her moral standards declines along with it. The first step down for any church is taken when it surrenders its high opinion of God.

Before the Christian Church goes into eclipse anywhere there must first be a corrupting of her simple basic theology. She simply gets a wrong answer to the question, “What is God like?” and goes from there. Though she may continue to cling to a sound nominal creed, her practical working creed has become false. The masses of her adherents come to believe that God is different from what He actually is; and that is heresy of the most insidious and deadly kind.

The heaviest obligation lying upon the Christian Church today is to purify and elevate her concept of God until it is once more worthy of Him—and of her. KOH006

Restore to Your Church, Lord, a concept of Your majesty that is worthy of You. Protect us from taking that first step downor restore us if we are already there. Amen.

A Living History

Ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ…written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God. —2 Corinthians 3:3

In our world there is still the holy witness of the Spirit, who in all things speaks for this Man who sits on the throne….

The Holy Spirit is here now to convince the world, and however we treat the warning of the Holy Spirit is exactly how we treat Jesus Christ Himself.

If faith must depend upon a man knowing enough of the historical evidences to arrive at a scholarly belief in the deity of Jesus, then there could only be a relatively few people saved.

But I do not have to be a scholar, a logician or a lawyer to arrive at belief in the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ, for the Holy Spirit has taken the deity of Christ out of the hands of the scholars and put it in the consciences of men.

The Spirit of God came to lift it out of the history books and write it on the fleshy tablets of the human heart. EFE030-031

The Holy Spirit is called the Spirit of Christ…because He brings to us the presence of Jesus and enables us to realize our oneness with Him. WS107

My Bible

Psalm 119:11

Josef Korbel endured 10 harsh years in a communist prison camp, where despite severe punishment and constant threats of death, the Brigadier continued his Christian witness.

My poor fellow prisoners all over the forced labor camps and in the prison cells were often downhearted and even desperate, ready to commit suicide. It often happened that a verse from the Word of God, which I quoted to them from memory, was a source of help and encouragement. Then I had an idea, and much later in a forced labor camp I was able to realize it.

At that time we were working on buildings and so it was easy to get brown paper from cement sacks. Taking a clean part from such a sack, I made a little notebook, using a piece of thin wire to pin it together.

Although it was against the rules of the camp to possess a pencil, I had a little stump hidden in my jacket. With this I wrote many beautiful Bible verses I knew by heart. Soon my notebook was full and I started to lend it to fellow prisoners, who were sad and downhearted.

After a while my “Bible” was in such demand, that men had to wait for days until it was their turn to get it. Shabby, mended and worn out from hiding it under ragged jackets, this “Bible” was a source of much blessing.

“Joe, is your Bible back?” they would ask. “Remember it is my turn now to get it.” I was so glad to see the eagerness in their eyes.

Once we got a hint that there would be a search of the camp. On such days the guards inspected every corner of the cells, including the ceiling and the floor boards, looking for knives, pencils, needles, notebooks, family photos and like articles that were strictly forbidden.

What should I do with my Bible? I wondered. At last I took it with me to the working place, hoping that we would have no personal inspection. I managed to get it safely there, and rolling it up I inserted it in one of the hollow bricks which were piled up.

“I shall take it out again tomorrow,” I thought. However the next day the pile of bricks was not there any more. The night shift used them and so my “Bible” was somewhere in the wall of a newly built house and lost. I never had the opportunity of making another one, but the Lord’s Word was kept hidden safely in my heart (Ps. 119:11).

Josef Korbel, When the Gates Were Opened

VIDEO Blessed in Eight Ways

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. Ephesians 1:3

What if your real estate agent’s only description of a house she has found for you is this: “You’re going to love it! It’s got everything you need!” Would you sign on the dotted line based only on that description? Because the agent knows your family’s needs and desires, her description of the house is probably accurate. But there’s something about knowing the details that gives you assurance that this house really will meet your needs going forward.

The apostle Paul wrote a statement in Ephesians 1 similar to the real estate agent’s general description. He wrote that we have been “blessed … with every spiritual blessing …in Christ” (verse 3). That covers it, right? What more do we need to know? Thankfully, Paul went on to enumerate eight of those spiritual blessings for our comfort: We are chosen (verse 4), adopted (verse 5), accepted (verse 6), redeemed (verse 7), enlightened (verses 8-9), given an inheritance (verses 11), sealed (verse 13), and secured (verse 14).

Are you blessed today? Yes, in at least eight different ways—blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ.

Every blessing God has for man is in and through Jesus Christ.  A. Lindsay Glegg


Ephesians 1:3-4 – In Depth – Pastor Chuck Smith – Bible Studies

Out of Breath

Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. Deuteronomy 5:13–14

There’s a home-improvement store near me that has a big green button in one of its departments. If no assistant is present, you push the button, which starts a timer. If you’re not served within a minute, you get a discount on your purchase.

We like being the customer in this scenario who enjoys the speedy service. But the demand for fast service often takes a toll when we’re the one expected to deliver it. So many of us today feel rushed doing our jobs, working long hours, checking email multiple times a day, and feeling pressured to meet tighter and tighter deadlines. The customer service tactics of the home-improvement store have seeped into all our lives, creating a culture of rush.

When God told the Israelites to keep a Sabbath, He added an important reason: “Remember that you were slaves in Egypt” (Deuteronomy 5:15). There they’d been forced to work ceaselessly under Pharaoh’s excessive time constraints (Exodus 5:6–9). Now freed, they were to give themselves a whole day each week to ensure they and those who served them could rest (Deuteronomy 5:14). Under God’s rule, there were to be no flush-faced, out-of-breath people.

How often do you work to the point of exhaustion or get impatient with people who keep you waiting? Let’s give ourselves and each other a break. A culture of rush is Pharaoh’s doing, not God’s.

By:  Sheridan Voysey

Reflect & Pray

How can you resist the urge to overwork? How will you be patient this week with people who keep you waiting?

God of the Sabbath, thank You for commanding me to rest so I can be whole.

Handling God’s Word Accurately

2 Timothy 2:14-15

The Bible is an amazing book because it is God’s words given to mankind in written form. Yet many people misinterpret it. Instead of diligently studying Scripture to discover what God means and how He wants us to live, some people search the Bible to find passages to support their preconceived ideas or preferred lifestyles.

Today’s passage was written to a young pastor named Timothy. Of all the duties a pastor has, the central one is to present the Word of God accurately to the church. But that doesn’t mean nobody else can—knowing how to properly interpret the Bible is a skill every believer should develop. Consider the diligence of the Bereans, who were commended for examining Scripture regularly to gauge the truth of messages preached to them (Acts 17:10-11).

We aren’t free to interpret the Bible any way we want. The goal is to discover what God meant rather than to find a meaning we like. Remember, it’s our Father’s approval we are seeking—not our own or that of others. Therefore, let’s devote time to studying Scripture, use our resources to learn about context, and ask the Holy Spirit to guide us to the truth.

Children in Heaven

“And [David] said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether GOD will be gracious to me, that the child may live? But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.” (2 Samuel 12:22-23)

The death of a loved one is always a time of great sorrow, but the death of a beloved child is perhaps the keenest sorrow of all. Nevertheless, for the Christian believer, we “sorrow not, even as others which have no hope” (1 Thessalonians 4:13).

Our text verse makes it clear that when a child dies (even one born of a sinful relationship such as this child of David and Bathsheba), that child goes to be with the Lord in heaven. Jesus said: “Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 19:14).

Heaven is thus a place where there are many “little children.” Their inherited sin-nature never yet had generated acts of willful sin, and their Maker is Himself “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29), so they are safe in Him. Although there are few specific Scriptures on this subject, what we do know, both from the love of God and the Word of God, suggests that the souls of all deceased little children are with the Lord in heaven, but also those who died in early childhood (and even before birth) from every time and place since the world began. There they, along with all those who were saved by personal faith in Christ and are now awaiting the resurrection, will receive new bodies when Christ returns to Earth. The old and lame will be young and strong again, and the children will grow to perfect maturity, for all will become “like him” (1 John 3:2). “God shall wipe away all tears” (Revelation 21:4), and all will say: “As for God, his way is perfect” (Psalm 18:30). HMM

Seeking Approval

Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear. —1 Timothy 5:20

I cannot believe in the spirituality of any Christian man who keeps an eye open for the approval of others, whoever they may be. The man after God’s own heart must be dead to the opinion of his friends as well as his enemies. He must be as willing to cross important persons as obscure ones. He must be ready to rebuke his superior as quickly as those who may be beneath him on the ecclesiastical ladder. To reprove one man in order to gain the favor of another is no evidence of moral courage. It is done in the world all the time.

We’ll never be where we should be in our spiritual lives until we are so devoted to Christ that we ask no other approbation than His smile. When we are wholly lost in Him the frantic effort to please men will come to an end. The circle of persons we struggle to please will be narrowed to One. Then we will know true freedom, but not a moment before.   PON141

Lord, does anyone ever really get over the desire to seek the approval of others? That is a battle for which we are totally dependent on You for victory. Help me today to be content with only the smile of Your approval. Amen.

A Silent, Holy, Eloquent Witness

While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. —Acts 10:44

The Holy Spirit is…among us to confirm to the consciences of men the works of Jesus.

There [is] no denying that in His earthly ministry, Jesus was a mighty worker of miracles. He did raise the dead. He did cleanse the leper. He did turn the water into wine. He did feed the multitude with a few pieces of bread.

The Pharisees did not try to deny the miracles He wrought. They could not deny them….You cannot deny a fact that stands and stares you in the face—a fact that you can touch and feel and push around and investigate! The Pharisees simply said: “He does his work in the power of the devil.”

The Holy Spirit came that He might confirm and verify the divine quality of those mighty works of Jesus and prove Him indeed to be the very God who had made the world and who could make it do what He pleased for it to do. EFE028

Let us bear in mind…that the Holy Spirit identifies Himself with the Lord Jesus and that the coming of the Comforter is just the coming of Jesus Himself to the heart. WCC007