STUDY ON TREASURE N°1
This teaching is the 1st part in a series of eight. Please read the other seven parts.
Beloved, peace be with you! I bless our Father, our Master and our Lord Jesus Christ who, in His great love for us, chooses to revive us at this end of time. I bless Him because He chooses to feed us day and night with His sound doctrine, in order to find us pure and holy when He comes to rapture His Bride. I am delighted to put this teaching at your disposal, which is nothing but the transcript of a workshop that the Lord had led us to do during our 2007 summer spiritual retreat.
I encourage you to study this teaching carefully, so as to draw out of it, all the elements that will lead you to a sincere repentance before the Lord, and to a radical change in your spiritual life. Bear in mind that this text is a transcript. Therefore, the spoken style and the likely mistakes found in it should not distract you.
Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also
Basic Text: Matthew 6:19-21 "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
Beloved, in order to put at the disposal of the people of God only the authentic Word of our Lord Jesus Christ, that is, the sound doctrine, we wanted, before you read the various reports, to draw you attention to some inaccuracies in the report of the fourth group. But corrections have been made to the comment of their report.
Please read the comment on the report of the fourth group that has cast light on those points. You may wonder why, knowing this, we, however, chose to leave this intervention in the transcript. Beloved, we did that because the Lord in His wisdom, allowed us to detect all the seduction or satan's tricks hidden behind it. And this will help you, teachers of the word, to be able to spot all the subtle elements that are likely to dilute this wonderful treasure that God has placed at our disposal. So take time to read the amendment that has been made to this intervention very carefully. Always remember this verse of 2John 9-11 "9Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. 10If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take him into your house or welcome him. 11Anyone who welcomes him shares in his wicked work."
Report of the first group
We will begin by giving a definition of treasure according to us and not according to the Larousse dictionary. The treasure is the most precious thing in the life of a human being. I will try to enumerate a few examples of treasures which include: money, family, sports, material goods, etc.
We will take some examples of people whose treasures were put in a wrong place, people who were unable to store up their treasures in heaven, where moth and rust could not destroy, and where thieves could not break in and steal. We note the example of Lot's wife, who was attached to worldly things to the point of missing the glory of God. We make reference to Luke 17:32 "Remember Lot's wife!" We see that Lot's wife, although she was very zealous for the Lord, although she even received the King of kings in her house, finally missed the rapture. Why? Because her heart was still divided between worldly things and God. Her heart was not fully devoted to the Lord God. The heart of Lot's wife was rather inclined to her treasure or to her treasures on earth. So she loved the world more than God. You can read the whole story in Genesis 19.
We will also take the case of Ananias and Sapphira in Acts chapter 5 where Ananias and Sapphira sold a piece of property, kept back part of the money and lied to the Holy Spirit regarding the real value of the selling price. They chose to keep back part of the money for themselves. This simply means that Ananias and Sapphira loved money more than God. Instead of trusting in God by telling the truth, they preferred their own interests. Acts 5:1-11 "1Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. 2With his wife's full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles' feet. 3Then Peter said, "Ananias, how is it that satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? 4Didn't it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn't the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied to men but to God." 5When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened. 6Then the young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him. 7About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8Peter asked her, "Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land?" "Yes," she said, "that is the price." 9Peter said to her, "How could you agree to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also." 10At that moment she fell down at his feet and died. Then the young men came in and, finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events."
We also mentioned the case of Eli the priest. He put his children in the first position, his children came before God. Reference 1Samuel 2:12. These are cases of treasures put in a wrong place.
And as for us, what shall we do to know where our treasure is? How do we love and serve the Lord? The Bible tells us that we shall love the Lord our God with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our mind. It is one of the commandments, and it is the first. The Bible also tells us that no one can serve two masters at the same time. Matthew 6:24 "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money." The Bible also tells us to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. Matthew 6:33 "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." So if we devote our whole life to seek material things first instead of seeking first the kingdom of God, this simply means that we do not understand anything. God must come before all other things in our lives. We must serve the Lord with all our heart and obey Him promptly.
The Bible also tells us to sell all our possessions. Luke 12:33-34 "33Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 13:45-46 "45Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. 46When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it."
Job 1:20-22 "20At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship 21and said: "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised." 22In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing."
When we read 1Timothy 6:7 "For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it." We note that we brought nothing into this world, and that we can take nothing out of it. We therefore understand that we must first seek the kingdom of God, for it is where our treasure is hidden. For that purpose, we must seek it with all our heart. We seize this opportunity to tell you that everything we do for God, we should do it with all our heart, without hesitation. We should focus entirely on God, because He is our treasure. It is better to hide our treasures in heaven, where neither thieves can break in and steal, nor moth destroy, than to store them up here on earth. For the earth and all that is in it will pass away.
I will give an example which seems small but which is very significant for us all. It is this retreat that we are attending together. During this time of retreat we are attending now, we should forget any other things and focus only on why we are here, and this, for the glory of God our Father.
We continue with the examples of people who knew how to put their treasures in God. We have the case of Abraham, who obeyed God when God asked him to sacrifice his only son to Him. Genesis 22:1-3 "1Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, "Abraham!" "Here I am," he replied. 2Then God said, "Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about." 3Early the next morning Abraham got up and saddled his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about." The love that Abraham had for his God still remains a challenge for us today. God was his all in all, his treasure ... For him, God came before anything else. This is the reason why he complied promptly and immediately when the Lord spoke to him. This is also the reason why he could sacrifice to his God, without any hesitation, the son he longed for all his life, the only son he had.
We also took the case of Moses who preferred the glory of God to that of Egypt, because his treasure was not in Egypt, but in God. Moses scorned all the wealth of Egypt, all that could bring him fleeting happiness on earth and agreed to suffer for a while with his brothers in order to inherit eternal wealth in Heaven.
The case of Ruth who abandoned her land, her people, and became attached to the God of Naomi, is also a very edifying case. It is reassuring to know that at all times, the Lord has kept for Himself a few people, ready to speak on His behalf without compromising His principles, and brave enough not to bow the knee to satan.
There is the case of Daniel who refused to bow down before the King; he chose to be thrown into the lions' den rather than to despise the Lord, the only living God. He did not fear for his life. It is because Daniel loved his God, that he was thrown into the lions' den. We also have the example of Daniel's companions, who preferred to die rather than to obey the king's command.
We also meditated on the verses below. Proverbs 2:3-5 "3And if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, 4and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, 5then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God."
1John 2:15-17 "15Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16For everything in the world - the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does - comes not from the Father but from the world. 17The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever."
The passage of Job 1 has made a deep impression on us. This helps us to understand the vanity of life. When Job was struck, he said that he brought nothing into the world, and can take nothing out of it. When Job lost everything, he did not deny his God. He understood that it was God who gave him everything and that God chose to take away what he had given him. We therefore understood that Job was not attached to anything. And now to answer the question "How do we find out where our treasure is?", we said that it is a question that everyone should answer individually.
We took the example of this retreat. We said to ourselves that, if while we were here, people were distracted by anything: work, study ..., if their attention was not on everything we did here, this simply means that their treasure is elsewhere and not in the things of God. We also noted the fact that whenever there is something to do for God, if we first have to fight with ourselves before making up our mind, it is at least an element that can help us understand where our treasure really is. Because if we say that we love the Lord our God with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our mind, this implies that every time there is something to do for God, we will jump promptly and with the greatest pleasure at the opportunity. If we hesitate each time before doing something for God, it is a proof that something is wrong somewhere. This is a proof that our treasure is elsewhere. Ecclesiastes 5:15 "Naked a man comes from his mother's womb, and as he comes, so he departs. He takes nothing from his labor that he can carry in his hand."
There is another aspect that we mentioned. Generally, when we speak about treasure, some people think only about money or certain material goods. There are also some little things to which we are very attached without even realizing it. Things like pride, there are people who find it difficult to part with pride; things like murmurs, there are people who are nothing without murmurs. The list is long; there are slanders, food, children ... So these are briefly the points on which we meditated, beloved.
Report of the second group
The Lord called our attention to the passage of Matthew 6:21 "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." We reframed the subject with regard to the very passage, we read from verse 19, Matthew 6:19. We see here that Jesus speaks to His disciples, to the people who listen to Him, and urges them to seek first the heavenly things. From the verse that was given to us, we should know how to discover where our treasure is, and how we can serve God, and serve Him wholeheartedly and far from all seduction. We also said to ourselves that we should first define what treasure is. Generally, a treasure is something invaluable, it is something or someone for whom one is ready to fight, for whom one sacrifices his life. Treasure can also be something that is coveted. That is why, in that case, the treasure is hidden. We gave a general definition and then defined what treasure is for a Christian. For a Christian, treasure is the hope of being raptured, it is the place that one can obtain from the Lord, it is the crown. To obtain that crown, we must live according to the word of God and put the word of God into practice, without complaining or arguing. Working for God with the greatest pleasure, and working without slackness.
Then we relied on the examples of our first brothers. We were inspired by the examples that were given to us in the Bible. We tried to examine the cases of those who really put their treasure in God, and the case of those who were unsteady, hesitant, the case of those whose heart was not totally devoted to God and to the things of God; people who found it difficult to obey God. And speaking of those who have made God their precious and unique treasure, our attention was more caught by Abraham. Abraham who left everything to follow God, because he knew that there, was his treasure. He knew that God was his hope. He knew that God was his only provider. He recognized the greatness of God. Abraham knew that God is so great that no man could dare reason with him. He knew that God is so full of love, that no one could dare to cast doubt on the merits of a decision He takes or of a recommendation He gives us. Abraham knew his God. We saw that many despise God today because they do not know Him. For all those who knew God in His greatness, in the immensity of His power, knew how to give Him the place in their heart, which belonged to Him. All of them knew how to worship and fear the King of the nations. In Revelation 15:4 it is written: "Who will not fear You, O Lord, and bring glory to Your name? For You alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before You, for Your righteous acts have been revealed."
Then we took the example of the people of Israel, to show that though we can have the promise of God, we can still fail to make it our own, if our hearts are ill-disposed. If our treasure is not in God, we can obtain nothing from God. Because to secure the promises and blessings of God, we should desire them with all our heart. We should put all our energy, all our strength into them, we should give everything we have, to get them. We saw that God promised the land to the people of Israel, the land here was their treasure. But in the end, only two, only Joshua and Caleb entered there. All those to whom the promise was made, did not enter. That means that we can have the promise of God, know what treasure the Lord reserves for us and do not succeed in obtaining it, and lose it completely.
From that point, we wondered how the children of Israel turned away from such a promise. And we took the example of a Christian who has a promise which was made to him, a place which is reserved for him. But it is possible that he becomes cold, discouraged or turned away from God and that he is dispossessed of all his treasure in heaven. So we took the example of a Christian who in the beginning was baptized, who discovered his treasure, the things of God, the kingdom of God and the promises made to him. In the beginning, he is really zealous, but when the first difficulties arise, we see the cooling off, the discouragement, he begins to get out of his depth. Beloved, it is not for the christians who get out of their depth at the slightest difficulty, or who let themselves be shattered as soon as a small storm brews, that the Lord reserves the eternal glory or the eternal treasure. But the crown of God is reserved for winners, for people that the world and all its pleasures do no longer attract.
So knowing that, it is important that everyone knows where he is with God, that everyone examines well his position before God. Are we still hot as we were in the beginning or did we rather become cold? That is why we need to examine ourselves to see if our present zeal is different from that of the beginning, when we knew the first love, when we decided to put God in the first place. It is only after this self-examination, that we can know if the treasure that was promised to us, if this precious and glorious treasure is still within our reach, or if we already put it out of our reach through our sleep and our lack of zeal for God and for the things of God. In short, we should analyse whether we are always motivated when we do the things of God. So as we said earlier, it is through self-examination, through examination of his own works, that one knows where his treasure is. If naturally the heart is more inclined towards worldly things, it is very dangerous. If we have a strong fondness for worldly things, if we take more pleasure in doing our own things than the work of God, it is a proof that our treasure is no longer in God.
Thus, it is up to a Christian to refocus everything, to know what he wants, to know where his treasure is, since earthly things are not for him. His treasure, are the things of God, and it is up to him to become attached to those things. It is essential for a Christian to understand the vanity of worldly things. It is only after having understood the concept of vanity that a Christian can come to his senses and shift his treasure and put it in God, if he has not done so yet.
Grace be with you all who have Jesus Christ as Master!
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