Yestrrday’s destination landed you here. Where are you headed tomorrow?

Don’t we usually think of an inheritance as a future destination? Are we overlooking today’s inheritance because our eyes are on tomorrow’s destination? Are we missing an inheritance today because we had no clear direction or destination yesterday?

The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot.  The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.
Psalm 16:5-6 ESV
http://bible.com/59/psa.16.5-6.ESV

Yes, we each have an inheritance.

Let’s hold that thought for a moment, though. Because I want to talk about the journey for a minute, let’s talk about treasure –

What is the picture of a follower of God, if it isn’t someone who chooses God’s will and purpose for their lives over their own? And someone will say, “That sounds costly. That sounds like work. Isn’t grace supposed to be a free gift? Not of man’s doing or striving so that no one might boast?”

It goes back to treasure. What is our treasure?

You see, it isn’t costly when our eyes are opened to see the worthless and temporary nature of the things of this world. It isn’t costly when we realize the trappings and snares that the enemy sets with the worldly and carnal and sensual enticements that he can offer as bait. It isn’t costly when our eyes are opened in belief,  in faith,  that there are blessings eternal like love,  joy,  peace,  patience,  kindness,  goodness,  faithfulness and self-control that are far more valuable than what that other master has to offer.

And we can grasp the concept in our minds that eternal treasures are better than temporary treasures,  but until we believe it in our hearts,  it just doesn’t have much impact on our lives, because knowing and doing are two very different things.

Because “knowing” is not always “believing”,  is it?

I’m going to share something that I think is crucial to understanding the life and perspective of a born again Christian and what it has to do with treasure. 

Before I was His and walking in my calling and purpose,  I saw those boundary lines of His divine instruction as restrictive,  as confining – I wasn’t satisfied or content in my inheritance – I wanted more. I was seeking more treasure.

And that left me ungrateful for the blessings that I already had and envious of what was not yet mine. It also caused me to struggle against His instructions, as my desires pushed me to step over those boundary lines that had been set to protect me,  and only my mind came into play as the guardian when I thought that I may have taken things too far and put myself at to great a risk of getting caught or facing punishment. It was all about me, me, me and more, more, more. Yes, this is a carnal nature full of the wrong desires,  living by the flesh as an enemy of God.

My treasure had me trapped.

But God granted me the grace of a changed heart,  of a born again life serving Him – and the battle lines didn’t shift, but my heart changed sides. Now, my desires are changed to want to do God’s will. And my heart is so joyful and content resting safely inside those boundary lines of my inheritance, of an abundant life filled with the very fruit of His nature,  those eternal blessings that are nourishing to our soul and to those around us. But there is still a battle, and the lines are still there – I’ve just changed my mind about where I want to be.

Before, I was packing my bags for the final destination that I was headed to. I was filling up my life with all kinds of sin,  because my eyes were set on getting out of the cage,  breaking free of this oppressive set of laws and rules,  having an opportunity to “enjoy life” – but I was really trying to enjoy death. I was really drinking down the poison of those things whose taste wears off and leaves us hungry and thirsty for more,  more,  more. You see,  I was packing my bags and preparing myself for a place of hunger, of thirst,  of pain,  of emptiness,  of longing,  and of suffering.  I was preparing myself for a final destination of hell and eternal torment where I would be far from the only true and good nourishment that only comes from God.

I was gathering the wrong kind of treasure – things that weren’t treasure at all.

But that was the old man. I am now new. I am now His,  and I am grateful for these boundary lines that have fallen into pleasant places for my life. And if I cross over those lines at all,  it is not to indulge and conform to the ways of this world,  but it is to share light in the darkness. But it is my heart and my desire now to stay within these boundaries and it isn’t burdensome,  but it’s a wonderful assurance and comfort to rest in the safety of the green pastures of my inheritance. You see,  my inheritance doesn’t wait until after I’m dead,  I get to experience and enjoy His presence in my life even today. And I’m packing my bags with a life of upright and righteous living,  of service and love towards my brother,  of hating evil and sin – even the garment that is stained with it.

save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.
Jude 1:23 ESV
http://bible.com/59/jud.1.23.ESV

And here’s the kicker. As wonderful and amazing as it is to rest within the boundary lines after having lived a life caught in the traps and snares – the wounds begin to heal. The annointing of His very Spirit and nature being poured out over and into our lives repairs those areas of our lives that used to be open wounds for the enemy to attack and exploit and trick us into stumbling,  falling,  turning back in retreat. But once healed, equipped and prepared forbattle, there is no room for retreat any longer,  friends – there is nothing ahead but victory.

And this is not victory over the boundary lines. This is not escape from our rightful resting place following His commandments and living a righteous,  upright life. This is not escape so that we can occupy new lands outside those safe boundary lines, No! This is not freedom TO sin.  That would not be victory but defeat!

We cross the battle lines not so that we can return to the ways of the enemy – we cross the lines to find and offer rescue to our brothers and sisters who are still in captivity.

The Lord is our chosen portion and prize – the only treasure worth having.

Know what it is that you desire,  friend. Because whatever you desire is your treasure, and it will be your inheritance.

Don’t misunderstand His promise to give you the desires of your heart to be a promise of prosperity alone, when it should be a fearful warning about what reveals our final destination.

What is your treasure?

Are you willing to gain the world and forfeit your soul?

What is the desire of your heart today?

If you get what you desire,  what are you giving up for it?

If you are desiring Christ,  and understanding that everything this temporary world has to offer is worthless – peace be with you,  friend.

But if you are not, my hope is that you might come to know the truth before it is too late. I would rather you be burned by any fire of conviction in my words, so that you might turn back today and revive His gift of grace, rather than be left in the flames for eternity.

Someone will, say,  “Whoa, that escalated quickly. We were talking about treasure,  now you’re judging me as hell bound!” No, I am sharing truth written on paper, only your heart can testify to your destination and what it is you treasure.

But even if you are feeling the conviction,  the question,  the doubt of your heart’s true desires,  I have Good News!

Jesus Christ died on the cross for you,  friend. But even more importantly,  He was raised from the dead on the third day as an example and demonstration of what He offers you. This gift of grace is not something you buy with a tithe. It is not getting your name written down on a church membership list. It is not something that you earn through your good works. It is a gift that you seek, ask, and knock at the narrow gate of Jesus Christ. That gate is found when we stop trying to escape His guidance and will and purpose for our lives, and we turn to Him – the word for this is repentance. It simply means turning to look to Him as the way,  the truth, and the life that you want to follow. And through this repentance, He offers us an internal baptism, a washing away of our sins, and a change of our hearts to desire those eternal treasures.

And as we continue to seek Him in prayer, in studying His Word, and in serving faithfully, we gain sight and understanding and we are equipped to no longer be blind to those traps of the enemy. It is a growing process,  it is a race to the finish – so start packing your bags friend! We have a destination in store!

Yes,  we have an inheritance!

Who’s your daddy?

I ask you friend, to gladly listen to this message, expecting something that might touch your heart today.

Jesus told them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, because I have come to you from God. I am not here on my own, but he sent me.  Why can’t you understand what I am saying? It’s because you can’t even hear me!  For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.  So when I tell the truth, you just naturally don’t believe me!  Which of you can truthfully accuse me of sin? And since I am telling you the truth, why don’t you believe me?  Anyone who belongs to God listens gladly to the words of God. But you don’t listen because you don’t belong to God.”
John 8:42-47 NLT
http://bible.com/116/jhn.8.42-47.NLT

It can be  a hard pill to swallow when the Word of God shines light on your heart’s true desires of you are not yet freed from the slavery of sin – if you are not yet repenting of your sin – if you are not yet resisting relation and evil. But a Christ makes it clear that this is not a one foot in and one foot out circumstance. We have one Father,  one master, one Lord over our lives and we are the ones who demonstrate that choice in the testimony our lives.

Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings.  And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave of sin.  A slave is not a permanent member of the family, but a son is part of the family forever.  So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.  Jesus told them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, because I have come to you from God. I am not here on my own, but he sent me.  Why can’t you understand what I am saying? It’s because you can’t even hear me!  For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.  So when I tell the truth, you just naturally don’t believe me!  Which of you can truthfully accuse me of sin? And since I am telling you the truth, why don’t you believe me?  Anyone who belongs to God listens gladly to the words of God. But you don’t listen because you don’t belong to God.”
John 8:31-32, 34-36, 42-47 NLT
http://bible.com/116/jhn.8.31-47.NLT

There are many who do not gladly listen to the Word of God. There are those who deny it. There are those who claim it by name but do not value it enough to listen to it and apply it to their lives. There are those that know some of what it says and run from it because they believe it is going to take things away from them that they want to cling to. There are those that pick and choose what they can use to back up their own opinions. There are those that study and try to obey in fear and obligation and confess in guiltandshame, hoping they can keep themselves out of hell for the sins that hold them captive. But how few listen to the Word of God, gladly understanding that He is for them and not against them – that His Word is meant to be a light unto our feet to keep us upon the narrow path of a life lived today, with God, as a free Son of God, not as a slave to sin.

So we must examine our deceitful hearts,  and cling to this Word of God, that is sharper than a two edged sword cutting down to the root of our sickness – and allow it to cut away those things of sin and death – and cast it away from our life today – praying that it be bound and cast into the eternal flames to never return to this place that is now the temple of the Holy Spirit – praising God as we encounter the trial that will prove our faith in His power to overcome – and praising God when He proves Himself faithful and true in overcoming sin in our lives and delivering us as a free Son of God, no longer a slave.

And when the Word of God continuously proves itself true in the evidence of our lives – will we then not cling to it like a valuable treasure that we have found? Will we not sell everything we have to possess it? Will we not gladly give up our old lives as we experience the new?

For why of a man truly knows the value of a treasure,  would he trade it for a curse and a debt that is not his to pay? If a man truly knew the great value of royalty, would He trade it for slavery?

But how many do not know in their hearts the truth? How many have heard the words, have seen the rituals and the practices, have felt the condemnation,  guilt,  and shame, have smelled the stench of religion – but have never laid their hearts upon the sweet aroma of the truth of the Word of God?

Yes,  many ears are closed,  many eyes are veiled to the truth. It is our job,  church, to restore sight to the blind, to speak the message of truth so that they might recognize His voice and return to Him.

Jesus replied, “I have already told you, and you don’t believe me. The proof is the work I do in my Father’s name.  But you don’t believe me because you are not my sheep.  My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.  I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me,  for my Father has given them to me, and he is more powerful than anyone else. No one can snatch them from the Father’s hand.  The Father and I are one.”
John 10:25-30 NLT
http://bible.com/116/jhn.10.25-30.NLT

And what is the proof we bring that we are His and that His message is true? Let our lives be a testimony to His saving power. Let them look at our lives and know that we have been changed by His touch. “The proof is the work I do in my Father’s name.” Let this be your guiding light today, children of God,  that the proof is in the work you do in His name – loving and serving your fellow man,  walking in the Spirit,  not in the flesh – gladly listening to the Word of God.

And if you are not there yet, friend – if you have not yet received the baptism of the Holy Spirit of Christ who lives in you – count the cost of following Christ faithfully in this dark world,  and know the cost of denying Him separated by your unbelief for eternity – confess your brokenness to the Lord Jesus Christ – repent of your sinful ways – and all Him to come into your life to guide you and teach you and unveil your eyes to the truth of His mercy,  grace, and glory. And hold on tight for the ride of your life, as you lay hold of the only treasure worth having,  the only inheritance that lasts, the only family that brings royalty and freedom.

Arise, child of God, and hear the Word of God,  listen intently, for in it wisdom is found more valuable than gold.

What is important to you?

And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?  Is anything worth more than your soul?
Mark 8:36-37 NLT
http://bible.com/116/mrk.8.36-37.NLT

Is anything worth more than your soul?

Have we been taught the right answers to answer with our words when we are in Christian circles – but show with our actions throughout the day amongst the world what we really value?

Continue reading “What is important to you?”

Hidden Treasure

http://bible.com/116/mat.6.21.nlt
Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.

Observation
Our minds and our emotions can work to fool us about the state of our heart.

Our minds can tell us, I’m attending church each week and hearing the Word of God, I’m in fellowship weekly in a Bible Study group, I’m reading the scriptures daily in my morning devotionals, and I’m thinking about the lessons being taught and appreciating them. But if we are not applying these lessons in our lives,  if we do not see Christ alive in our lives,  surrendering to Him and serving others – are we just practicing Gnosticism and doing mental gymnastics to avoid truly accepting Jesus Christ as the Lord and authority over our lives?

And having an emotional response to the gospel can have a similar misleading impression of the true state of our hearts. If we continue in the same sin and open rebellion over and over, only finding ourselves convicted and emotional when confessing our sins to the Lord, seeking forgiveness but not seeking His will in our lives – are we simply remorseful but not repentant and obedient to God?

Continue reading “Hidden Treasure”