Bruce Collins, Evangelist

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Treasure in Heaven

Meditation for the week of October 3, 2010

Matthew 19:21 Jesus said to him, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me."

We are born and about eighty years later we die.  Sometimes that cycle seems futile.  Solomon in Ecclesiastes calls life “vanity and a vexation of spirit.”  He says that and yet we would say he had it all—riches and power and wisdom and lots and lots of women.  Obviously he had everything that should have made him feel fulfilled and satisfied.  However, he came to the conclusion that none of this satisfied, that the purpose in life was to “Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man’s all (Ecclesiastes 12:13).”

Fearing God and keeping his commands involves recognizing that we are accountable to Him. Fearing God means that we want to be right with God while we live so that we are ready to meet him when we die.  There is nothing more important than knowing that God is pleased with us.  Yet, we know that without faith it is impossible to please him (Hebrews 11:6).  I believe that having certainty about these things is what life is all about.  I have found that the Lord knows we are all sinners but He loves us anyway.  He has found a way to redeem us (buy us back) out of the slave market of sin so that we can be cleansed and made fit for his presence and so that we can enjoy His fellowship.  The Lord Jesus died so that we can be saved from eternal conscious punishment, so we can be set apart as his special people, and so that we can have fellowship with him now on earth. 

Salvation is by faith in Christ alone but there are many hindrances that keep us from putting our trust in Him.  For the rich young ruler it was accumulated wealth.  The Bible is clear that money is a problem for all of us.  How many of us would be saved today if we had to sell what we had and give it to the poor before we could follow the Lord?  This parable can be interpreted in several ways so that we make it applicable only to the rich young ruler or to those who are trusting in their riches and not to us.  But wait a minute!  Shouldn’t we consider all Scripture to be written for us even if it isn’t written to us?  I am really glad that I was poor when I came to know the Lord.  I didn’t have a house or lands or a big savings account.  I was living day to day and my income was just equaling my outgo and that was probably the happiest point in my life economically. 

The Lord tells us not to lay up treasure on earth but to lay it up in heaven (Matthew 6:19-21).  Paul tells us to make sure that there is “equality” (2nd Corinthians 8:14).  In Acts 2: 44-45, there was a sharing of goods as everyone had need.  They held their goods “in common” not as individuals.  It has been pointed out that this didn’t work then and it won’t work now.  I wish that weren’t true because it should have worked then and it should work now, but it doesn’t.  Why?  Because while all of us who are saved, trust God when it comes to the cross, very few of us have really been able to trust Him for the things of this life. 

For years, I didn’t have medical insurance because I thought I should depend on the Lord and not on unbelievers and their insurance plans.  Whether that was right or wrong could be argued, but when I came to the point that I was willing to buy insurance, I couldn’t buy it because I couldn’t afford it.  What was available would not cover per-existing conditions either, so it was basically worthless.  So my wife and I have just had to depend on the Lord.  Isn’t that a sad commentary?  We have HAD to depend on the Lord.  I am convinced that one could have insurance and still be depending on the Lord but for us, not having the insurance, has put that faith to the test. 

We are taught today to “save for up for a rainy day.”  I have found that every time I do that, the Lord provides me with the rainy day.  And again, I am forced to trust Him.  I am so glad that the Lord understands our infirmities and loves us just the same. 

I do wonder however, what the unsaved must think of the saved and their attitude toward “money”.  Do they see people who are motivated by the shortness of life and their desire to advance the Gospel by living for eternity rather than for time?  Money motivates the unsaved and God calls them idolaters (Ephesians 5:5).  I hope that is not what is motivating those of us who claim to be following Christ.

Bruce Collins

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