STUDY ON TREASURE N°2
This teaching is the 2nd part in a series of eight. Please read the other seven parts.
And as concerning the vanity of the world, we quoted some passages of the Bible: Ecclesiastes 1:2 "Meaningless! Meaningless!" says the Teacher. "Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless." Ecclesiastes 4:6 "Better one handful with tranquillity than two handfuls with toil and chasing after the wind." This is to illustrate the vanity of things. So in fact, it is up to each Christian to mend his ways and put his life in order, according to his desire, according to what he wants, according to the place he wants to have in heaven.
In fact, a Christian should understand better than anyone that he is not of the world, and for that reason, there are things he should not do. He should understand that he is in the world but not of the world. 2Peter 2:19 "They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity - for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him." In fact, man is a slave either of sin, or of the devil. It is up to a Christian to know whose slave he wants to be. Either a slave of the prince of this world, or a slave of the Prince of life, who is Jesus. Anyway, in one of the cases, he has everything to lose, and in the other, he has everything to gain. Deuteronomy30:15-18 "15See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. 16For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess. 17But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, 18I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess."
To illustrate the case of those who abandon themselves to sin, we read John 8:34 "Jesus replied, I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin." We also took the example of Lot's wife, as the brother mentioned it earlier. We concluded that the treasure of a man, in reality, is only where his heart is. So if our hearts are somewhere else than in God, do not expect to have any reward from the Lord. One can choose for example to make an assessment of his life after each week and ask himself each time: "Did God have the first place in my life during the past week?" Or one can ask himself what were the inclinations of his heart throughout this week. We tried to see that where our heart is, there our treasure will also be. We said to ourselves that, to examine and recognize where our treasure is, it would be better to do a self-examination, to know where the inclinations of our hearts are. We should be honest with ourselves and the Spirit of God will guide us.
We also said that after a self-examination, if we noticed that this treasure is not where it is supposed to be, we could still make amends. And we read a few passages such as Matthew 6:33 "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." Colossians 3:1-2 "Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things." There is also the passage of Proverbs, which tells us to look for God who is the wisdom as we look for silver. 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."
We also noticed the fact that we cannot talk about where our treasure is without talking about the notion of separation, separation from earthly things. Whether it is worldly things, or people, or anything else. Matthew 13:44-46 "44The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. 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." Here we see that the kingdom of heaven is like a man who found a treasure, and does everything to keep it. We therefore said to ourselves that, since the treasure for us as Children of God is the place we want to have before the Lord, if it is God who is our treasure, it will be easy for us to part with anything in order to achieve our aim, like this man who finds a treasure, hides it, and sells everything he has to buy it.
Always speaking of treasure, we took the example of Jesus. Hebrews 12 tells us that He is the author and perfecter of our faith. Hebrews 12:1-2 "1Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." We should also take Him as role model and scorn all the things of the earth.
Another aspect that made a deep impression on us and that we highlighted is the quantity of treasures. We should not only look for one treasure but for many treasures. We must do everything to store up for ourselves many blessings in heaven. Heaven is really beautiful and wonderful, beloved. The Bible tells us in 1Corinthians 2:9 "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him." To put his treasure in God is an eternal happiness. Let us see to it that we do not reject God's purpose for ourselves, as insane people do today. Luke 7:30 "But the Pharisees and experts in the law rejected God's purpose for themselves, because they had not been baptized by John."
Do not imitate the insane who spend their time despising the living God. Let us cling on to God with all our strength, let us see to it that we do not have a sinful, unbelieving heart that loses the glory that the Lord has in store for us. Hebrews 3:12-14 "12See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness. 14We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first."
We also mentioned the fact that in the world, people are very zealous for their treasures. Recently there was a very valuable phone that came out and that cost 400 euros. There were people who, to be sure that they would have their treasure, spent many days in front of the store. Look how the people of the world know how to look for their treasure, beloved. Look how they are willing to sacrifice themselves for their treasure. If people are willing to make such a great sacrifice for short-lived things, how much more shall we, Children of God, make sacrifices for eternal things. For us who labour for an incorruptible crown, for imperishable and eternal possession, it will be quite interesting for us to do it with zeal and not with laziness.
Children of Israel, to whom God promised the Promised Land did not enter the Land. Only Caleb and Joshua succeeded. Yet they all had the promise, why did they not enter it? We said to ourselves that it was certainly because of the difficulties arisen along the way that they lost heart. We compared this situation to our Christian life today. We should see to it that the difficulties we are going through on the way, the problems we face up to everyday, do not rob us of the reward of our earthly journey. In the contrary, we must be like Joshua and Caleb who rather looked at the treasure that awaited them in the Promised Land instead of looking at the great size men who were in the city that they went to visit.
Report of the third group
The topic of our study is "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also". And the reference passage is Matthew 6:21. We tried to structure our work in three parts. Firstly, we tried to find out what a treasure is, secondly, how to recognize it; thirdly, as Christian, when Jesus Christ is our treasure, what are the necessary steps to follow with Him.
1) What is a treasure? Someone's reason for living is his treasure. If you live for school, it means that school is your treasure. Since you put all your time, all your energy in it. For others, treasure is their home, for them their home is their reason for living. For some people, it is their work, for others, it is their families or their studies or their food, that is, the only thing they think of is their stomach. And for some people, they themselves are their own treasure. Everything they do is at first for themselves. When the Lord asks to do this or that thing, they choose to do what they want. Thus, we can read some passages in the Scriptures. Philippians 3:18-19 "For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things."
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."
2Peter 2:18-19 "18For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of sinful human nature, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. 19They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity - for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him." I would just like to revisit the last part of the verse 19, which says that everyone is a slave to whatever has mastered him. A way of saying that everyone is a slave to his treasure. Everyone does everything for his treasure, puts his heart, and gives the best of himself in it, in order to obtain it. For us Children of God, we must rather seek the things above and not take pleasure in the vanity of this world Colossians 3:1-3 "1Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. 2Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God."
2) We meditated on some testimonies of brothers who have feared God with all their heart, and this can help us to recognize more easily what is our treasure. We took the example of Job. He lost everything, but he was still the same old self, the love he had for his God remained the same, and this is a proof that it is the Lord who was his treasure. Everything could disappear, but as long as the Lord was there, everything was fine.
We also took the case of Abraham and his son Isaac. When the Lord told him, "Give me your son," he did not hesitate but he obeyed immediately. Since the Lord was his treasure, he could give Him everything. How many are still willing to do that today? This is the question we ask ourselves. You can read Matthew 13:44-46 "44The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. 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."
Matthew 19:16-24 "16Now a man came up to Jesus and asked, 'Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?' 17Why do you ask me about what is good?' Jesus replied. 'There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments.' 18"Which ones?" the man inquired. Jesus replied, 'Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, 19honour your father and mother, and love your neighbour as yourself.' 20"All these I have kept," the young man said. "What do I still lack?" 21Jesus answered, 'If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.' 22When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth. 23Then Jesus said to his disciples, I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."
This rich young man was already doing a lot before God. He even observed the commands of God very well, but his heart was attached to his wealth. And it is his wealth which prevented him from following the Lord. He preferred the short-lived enjoyment of the riches of the earth to the eternal glory that the Lord had in store for him. It is the case for everyone today. If someone behaves like that, if there is something that prevents you from going to Christ, that thing is your treasure. You can easily recognize it by examining the time you allot to anything. If you give more time to your school, if all your thoughts are in your school, in your work, this simply means that, that your treasure is in them. If it is really Christ who is your treasure, you will give Him all, your time, etc. You will be happy in His presence, and you will do many things for Christ. So there are things that allow us to recognize where the treasure of everyone is hidden.
He who has Christ as his treasure should show all the fruits of the Spirit. Galatians 5:22-23 "22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law." He should dedicate himself to God and give Him everything he has. Mark 12:42-44 "42But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny. 43Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything - all she had to live on." The widow gave everything, all she owned, all she had to live on, and the Lord acknowledged what she did. It is the Lord who was her treasure and she was ready to give Him everything. Everyone can recognize from these examples what is his treasure.
If we make God our treasure, we will never regret it. All those who put their trust in God will never be put to shame. We will not lose any of the things we are doing for God here on earth. To all those who place God before all things in their life, the Lord reserves very great crowns in heaven. The disciples were very amazed at the answer that Jesus gave to the rich young man. Let us read their reaction and the response of the Lord Matthew 19:25-30 "25When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, "Who then can be saved?" 26Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." 27Peter answered him, "We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?" 28Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. 30But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first."
3) The necessary steps to follow for those who have Christ as their treasure. We can read Matthew 22:37. "Jesus replied: '"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind." All those who have Christ as their treasure should love Him as this verse tells us. This is the only way to prove that our treasures are in God. 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."
If your heart is still divided between God and Mammon, know that your treasure is not in God yet. Those who put their treasure in God are neither wavering nor hesitant, but they are firm and determined. If Christ is your treasure, you must prepare yourselves every day for His coming, and do everything to be ready when He will return. It is only in that way that we can live and be sure that He will find us watchful and ready.
We also saw the notion of renunciation. If the Lord is your treasure, you should give up everything to reach it. Luke 9:23 "Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. Philippians 3:7-9 "7But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ - the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith."
Speaking of this verse of Philippians, we notice that if we have Jesus as our treasure, as our centre of interest, everything around us becomes garbage for us. If we make Jesus our treasure, satan can not hold us captive by the things of this earth. For if Jesus is not your treasure, satan will hold you captive though your school, your family, your work, etc. Because he knows that he just has to attack one of these things, and he will certainly make you totter. But if the things of the earth do no longer mean anything to you, as it was the case of Paul, I do not know with what satan will hold you captive. We also noted the fact that when you know where you have put your treasure, when you know the importance of your treasure, you can defy fear; you have enough courage to act. We took the example of Esther, when she had to intervene to save her people. She was not afraid of risking her life. She knew very well that when the king had not summoned you in the inner court, you could not approach him. But she took the risk. Because she knew for whom she was working, she knew where her treasure was, she also knew in whom she put all her trust.
When your treasure is God, you stop being a hesitant, wavering Christian, who is afraid of making a commitment, afraid of what is happening around him. You can defy all adversities. Because you know that even if it happens that you lose your life on the way, you will go where your treasure is. And when your treasure is Christ, you know how to get to it. Those who do not know how to reach their heavenly treasure are those who simply have not placed it in Heaven. We also saw that to reach this treasure, we should live according to the word of God. Because God tells us that those who love Him must keep His commands. We should obey God and not only obey, but obey promptly. There are people who obey, but after many hesitations, after having struggled with themselves at first.
Do you obey after many hesitations? Are you still doing things to please men or is Christ really your reason for living, your joy for living, your only joy for living? When someone has really Christ as treasure, things become easier. He understands more easily the thought of God, His will, the meaning of His word. He no longer makes too much effort to please God; it becomes a life for him. To know that Christ is really our treasure, we should see how we live our lives, how we are still attached to earthly things, to our families, to our children, to our work, to our school.
Grace be with you all who have Jesus Christ as Master!
feel free to make copies of this article and give them out.
To download it, click HERE , or on the PDF icon.