Monday, November 12, 2012

Heavenly Banking

The story is told of a South African farmer who disliked his occupation and envied those who were into the diamond business.  Farming provided a meager existence but those who discovered diamonds seemed to live a life of luxury.  Accordingly, he sold his poor farm and joined countless others in search of diamonds.  Soon after, he hit tough times, became financially ruined and committed suicide. Meanwhile, the new owner who bought the farm came across an unusual stone as he toiled over his farm.  He carried the stone home, put it on his mantle and consequently forgot about it. One day, a friend dropped by and noticed this unusual stone.  With permission, he took it to a dealer and to their surprise, the stone turned out to be one of the largest diamonds ever discovered and the poor farm was transformed into a huge diamond mine.  If only our first farmer friend had been more patient.

This true story speaks aloud to many that are trying to find wealth and luxury in the wrong places.  Too many fortune hunters not content with their heritage, run to distant rainbows in pursuit of their dreams of happiness.  Matthew 6:19-21 is an excellent reminder and it states, "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (ESV) In these verses, Jesus encouraged those that desire to follow him must not store up treasures on earth, which can decay or be stolen. Rather, store up treasures in heaven that have lasting value. Simply stated, your heart will be where your treasure is.

What comprises your earthly treasures? What’s in your heavenly bank account? Remember that everything we have now is provisional during our lifetime and whatever we have acquired on earth cannot be brought with us when we leave this world. Many have tried to do so but to no avail. As an example, the pyramids in Egypt that are filled with many earthly treasures are evidences to what the Pharaohs wanted to do, i.e., to bring with them in the afterlife many untold riches and wealth accumulated as part of their journey. Unfortunately, it does not work that way. It is only when we begin to follow the instruction that Jesus spoke about acquisition of heavenly wealth will be the source of our needed security including with it the perfect peace of knowing that our life’s achievement is heavenward.

Many can argue that what Jesus prescribed is unrealistic but just looking around to know that it is indeed a reality will awaken us to its truth. No amount of riches nor power attained can amount to what awaits us in eternity especially if Jesus becomes the real Owner of our earthly and eternal life. Thus, this Scriptural verse is an excellent reminder of this principle: “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul? (Mark 8:36-37, ESV) Therefore, let’s secure the most important treasure we have in this life, i.e., our soul wholeheartedly turned over to Jesus’ care. It must become the chief priority rather than the accumulation of earthly wealth. However, if we have been fortunate enough to become a steward of such wealth from the Lord, just make sure that what we have will not be a reason for us to lose our heavenly treasure.

With the story illustrated above, our lives can be compared to diamonds in many ways.  A diamond, when found, looks dull and rough. To have any worth, it has to be cut and polished.  Likewise, when coming to Christ, we may be dull, scratched or blemished. He will refine us so that facets of our personality will begin to glow and cascade light, His Light. Are you interested in this type of treasure? Then, let’s begin to allow Jesus into our life and in every aspect of it to experience what real treasure is all about. When we do, we will never be the same again and having such confidence will provide us sanity in this treasure-crazed world!

Let’s talk again!