STUDY ON THE TREASURE N°7
This teaching is the 7th part in a series of eight. Please read the other seven parts.
Comment of the report of the third group
The brothers came back to the same things, by stressing on studies, family, work, and even our self. And they insisted on the fact that everyone was responsible for his treasure. They came back to the case of Abraham, Job and so on. They quoted among others Philippians 3, 1John 2, and since we came back to this passage of Philippians, I would like to take this opportunity to give you a small testimony regarding this passage, in which the Lord told us: "But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ." This passage made a big impression on us. I remember a few years ago, we studied this passage and the Lord spoke to us particularly. We are very delighted to serve God. But at times, we always have a feeling that by serving God we lose something, especially when we look around us. And the day we were studying this teaching, the Lord spoke to each of us. Because after this teaching, people deeply repented before the Lord.
And the aspect that the Lord laid emphasis on was the case of a beloved who always had with him, in his personal belongings, his old business cards, which were preciously conserved. Since he was a former director, every time he took his business card, looked at it, and the title of "Finance and Administrative Director" which was written on it gave him a little smile, alleluia! And he kept it again. Although he held only his Bible in hand, from time to time, he looked at his business card, turned it over, and that brought him great pleasure. An utter vanity! The day the Lord gave us this teaching, we understood to what extent one could be idolatrous without knowing it. Praise the Lord, we deeply repented, alleluia!
And it is exactly the war that some beloved have had with their former colleagues who find them very stupid. Some shared with us what they were living through. They told us what a pagan said one day about one of our brothers. He said: "There is something that annoys me about this Jesus you follow. We have one of our colleagues who was very brilliant at school, but since he started these Jesus things, he did nothing else but talks about Jesus all day long." Alleluia! While we feel sorry for them, they feel sorry for us. That is an utter vanity, beloved. Yet everyday they die like kittens and one buried them. They go neither with the title of associate professor, nor with the title of Doctor of anything, nor with the title of Engineer. They rot as quickly as dogs and cats. But since satan blinded them, they cannot understand anything. Alleluia!
So I was trying to show you to what extent the Lord, when He loves us, knows how to speak to us. So when the brothers were reading this passage, it reminded me of this teaching that the Lord gave us before, alleluia! Keep in mind beloved, that if we want to please the Lord, it is time to consider whatever were gains to us loss for the sake of Christ. As long as your interests are in the vain things, in the things that raise your pride, you should know that time comes when you will regret it.
The renunciation: We spoke about the case of Esther who was not afraid of risking her life, because her treasure was in God. And they gave us a very interesting conclusion, and that is another element that can help us know where our treasure is. They talked about the case of unnecessary complaints and life of complaints. The brothers say that a life of complaints means that your treasure is on earth. And here, practical elements help us, as children of God, to mend our ways. Because sometimes the most difficult thing for us is to know where our treasure is. Sometimes we say to ourselves, "Do I really love the Lord, is my treasure really in God?" Normally, we do not need this teaching for each of us to know where his treasure is. It is because we like to lure ourselves that everyone believes that his treasure is in God, even when his treasure is thousands of miles away from God. But when the Lord gives us the grace to do a study like this, with practical examples He gives us through the brothers, this opens our minds more and more.
They said that if you lead a life of complaints, if you spend your time complaining, if you go from complaint to complaint, from lament to lament, if you spend all your time whining, it is at least a proof that your treasure is on earth. Because when your treasure is in God, you have neither complaints nor anything to worry about, you do not have to whine because the biggest fire would be unable to consume your treasure. The most severe flood like the one that devastated parts of England recently or the one that ravaged a significant part of Asia, could not reach your treasure, if it is rather in the Lord. And for this reason, we escape unnecessary complaints, unnecessary laments and worries. We praise the Lord for this conclusion He has given to our brothers of the third group. May the Lord bless you!
And I want to briefly come back to what I said in the beginning, by telling you that when we work that way, it allows me to know that God does not necessarily need me to teach you, He can do it without me. Because if we did not work on this topic in a workshop, and if I wanted to give this teaching myself, I am sure I would not have brought out all aspects you stressed on. At least a proof that the Lord really works in all of us. Alleluia!
Comment of the report of the fourth group
The brothers defined the treasure for us, they read almost the same passages that the other brothers read with my verse of Philippians and all the others. The particularity of their work was the series of questions they chose to present to us, so that everyone makes the effort to find his own answers. What are the things you cannot stop doing? It is a very good question. And they are practical elements that God gave us. Instead of preaching like people do today, great preaching which bear no fruit, they are practical teachings that the Lord chose to give us; things simple to understand, down to earth things. If there is one thing you cannot stop yourself from doing, you do not have to look too far, know that you are slave of that thing, that is, your treasure is in that thing. We were able to give details, anyone can answer this question. What do you find yourself very difficult to refrain from doing? What are the things you cannot stop doing? Everyone has the answer. What is your major cause for concern every day? Everyone knows it.
Does the love you have for God would be affected if God took away one of the things or the things you are bound to? If the answer is yes, you have got it. You see that the brothers were wise, don't you? Instead of helping us by giving us answers, they bombarded us with questions. It is up to each of us to go and manage by ourselves. They came back to the case of Job. Even in difficulties, he did not renounce God. Satan was trying to prove to God, as he always knows how to do it, that if Job loved him, it was because of all his property. The Lord told him: "We never know, you may be right, let us check a bit" and they checked it. One took away all that Job had, and he stayed calm. At least a proof that his treasure was not in those things. Otherwise he would have committed suicide. You know, every time that there has been a stock-market crash, for those who are interested in economy, there have been many suicides. Every time that there has been a crash on the financial market, there have been many suicides. When people see their god die, they must also die quickly. Otherwise if your god dies, who will keep on defending you? Alleluia! That is the world in which we live. What is annoying is that we, Christians, also find ourselves in that madness, without knowing where we are going and what we are looking for.
The brothers gave us the passage of Luke 14:26 to speak again about the notion of separation. "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters - yes, even his own life - he cannot be my disciple." Yet today we love all these things more than we love the Lord. We love our father, our mother, our wife, our husband, our children, our brothers, our sisters and ourselves more than we love God. There is a group who insisted on the notion of the self. It was the third group. There are people for whom the treasure is themselves. Alleluia! And the brothers gave us two wonderful hymns: "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." And we used these wonderful verses to make excellent hymns: We sing, sing, but in the end, we are like ducks. Alleluia. Have you ever poured water on the duck's back? As soon as it shakes itself, there is nothing left. Today you say: "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness"; but the next day, you seek first what you want. And when one starts to sing, everyone applauds and dances. The following day, we seek all, and it is after all that, that one thinks about the kingdom heaven.
There is another song: Perfect happiness. Perfect happiness, perfect happiness, is to surrender my whole being "in my goods, O Lord" Alleluia! Perfect happiness, perfect happiness, is to surrender our whole being "in our goods, in our work, in our family" and every day you deceive God by saying "it's to surrender, my whole being at Your feet, O Lord". And as soon as we leave the feet of the Lord, we say: "Lord, I was wrong, I wanted to talk about my property." Please take those hymns that the brothers gave us very seriously. It's not because they wanted to sing, it's a real message they wanted to give us.
I would like, before I go over to the fifth group, to bring some corrections to some erroneous aspects that the brothers of the fourth group brought out in their report. Speaking of the passage of Mark 10:17-27, a sister said that when one has become attached to great wealth, it is the beginning of bonds. And that when someone comes to the Lord late, after having worked a whole life to have all this great wealth and all that makes his balance, to get loose from it the same day, we saw that it is practically impossible. It is through love that he discovers in the Lord that all those things that he hardly gets loose from, will gradually release him.
The sister continued and said: It is not easy to comply when, after having built an empire for oneself, after having given oneself an education, after having lived in a culture, built houses, after having amassed material possessions and all we could have amassed, one fine day, God comes and tells us "go, sell everything you have, and come, follow me", it is not obvious. And speaking of change, they said how hard it is to change immediately when you come to the Lord, they insisted on the fact that one needs time to change.
I would like to point out that it is a mistake from our brothers, because it is not in accordance with the word of God. It is rather the opposite that the word of God teaches us. Let us take for instance the case of Zacchaeus in Luke 19:5-8 "5When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, 6"Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today." So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. 7All the people saw this and began to mutter, "He has gone to be the guest of a 'sinner.'"8But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, "Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount."
We see here that the Lord had not even spoken to him. The fact that he stood before the Lord and that he was seized with the glory of the Lord, it was easy for him to get rid of all that he had as possessions. For every son of Abraham, it is simple to change his life, to get rid of all his possessions to follow his Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. I will also take the example of the apostles in Matthew 4:18-22 "As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. "Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." At once they left their nets and followed him. Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him." And the case of Levi who is Matthew in Luke 5:27-28 "27After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector by the name of Levi sitting at his tax booth. "Follow me," Jesus said to him, 28and Levi got up, left everything and followed him." So by examining the word of God, it is rather the opposite that is true.
Normally, we should not let such mistakes go unnoticed, because it is a form of seduction that must be pointed out. I could do nothing but come back to this aspect. We must always ensure that subtle elements like these ones do not dilute the wonderful teaching that the Lord gives us. We absolutely must not let such elements go unnoticed in a true teaching. People can consider it as teaching and it is dangerous. Coming back to the intervention, to say that we must get rid of things, little by little, means we do not want to obey, because someone who wants to get rid of things little by little is someone who wants to enter heaven little by little. The Lord said: "Rid yourself of earthly things and enter heaven." That is, if you rid yourself of earthly things, you enter heaven and if you do not rid yourself of earthly things you do not enter heaven. You say: "I should rid myself of earthly things gradually", a way of saying: I will enter heaven little by little. If the Lord comes while you are taking your time to rid yourself, what will happen to you? He will let you continue your "little by little walk". So it was really a mistake from the brothers.
Keep in mind that obedience to God cannot be calculated. And we examined it well with the case that each group mentioned, the case of Abraham. It is not little by little that he obeyed God, but he did it promptly. It is said that early the next morning, Abraham got up. This allows us to give you again another element of discernment which will help you a lot. When in front of something that God asked you to do, you find yourself planning how to do it at your own pace, know that your heart is not ready to obey. And it is dangerous, extremely dangerous. God wants people who obey and submit themselves to His instructions, and not those who take the time to calculate, to think, to see if they should obey or not, because when you say that you believed in the Lord a bit late and that with everything you had already done it is hard to leave everything all at once, it is wrong. Why? Because nobody believes in the Lord the day of his birth. No, there is no one who believed in the Lord the day of his birth. We always believe after having done certain things. Before becoming a believer, everyone is always bound to something. We are all called to get rid of something, to turn away from something, to break with all the things that we used to do. That is precisely why, when you read this passage of Philippians, where the apostle Paul begins to say: "But whatever was to my profit ...", because everyone before becoming a believer, has something that was to his profit. Whether it is a small or a large profit, it is still a profit. And when you go towards the Lord, to please God, whatever was to your profit, I do not say you might, but you must now consider it loss for the sake of Christ. And if you want to do it little by little, it is only when you will get to the end of it that you will belong to God. That is the danger of trying to do things your own way.
So, you should know that obedience to God cannot be calculated. Obedience to God must be spontaneous and instantaneous. Alleluia. And this just reminds me of something. Last night when we started the recitation of the chapters of the Bible, as we were all in a row, I asked some people to leave the line. And the case I would like to share with you is that of one of them. I told him: "leave the line," and that person left, climbed the stairs and went to stay quietly in his room. And it is this morning that the person came down again. The poor did not know why he was asked to leave the line. He just obeyed and left. It is this morning, when we were talking, that we came back to it. I told him that I asked him yesterday to leave the line in order to escape punishment, because people were about to be punished. When the person heard that, he said: Thank you pastor. But in the meantime, he had already left without knowing why I had asked him to leave.
And this made a big impression on me. When I finished talking to him, I left and the Lord was speaking to me in my heart regarding that case. For me, it was another revelation of the word of God: Obedience. Here is someone who obeys without thinking. One comes and tells him "leave the line", and he just leaves, without asking why, and the next day he comes and do not ask why we told him to leave the line the previous day. This is not his problem. All he knows is that one asked him to leave the line and he left. That is a true example of obedience. And these are things that we lack before the Lord today.
When I finished talking to that person this morning, I was greatly impressed and I retired alone, I meditated on it and I said to the Lord: "Lord, bless him and help me be as obedient as him." It is really one thing that Children of God lack. We like to think too much before the Lord. While you were doing the workshop, I retired alone and the Lord spoke to me again about this. And the message I received from God is that people who had the misfortune to go to school, find it more difficult to believe than those who did not go to school. I always said to intellectuals that the fact of going to school can sometimes hinder our progress before God. Because when we go to school, we are so proud to have been to school, that we like to calculate, we like to think about everything. Everyone becomes a philosopher. Those who did not go to school do not have this problem. When you go to see our parents, for example, as soon as you speak to them about God, they also believe, they do not think. Go and see one, who just managed to make the upper sixth form, he will quote the theories of Kant, of Socrates and others. The little philosophy begins to confuse his mind. Everything becomes a subject of debate. It is a trap for us, beloved.
That is why the Lord said that to enter the kingdom of God, one must change and become like little children, because little children do not think. As soon as you speak, they comply. Alleluia. So I was very impressed by this case. And now I will come back to what our beloved just explained. When God asks us to do something, to choose to do it gradually or little by little, whatever the expression you use to defer what God asked you to do, it is a trap. And I bless the Lord for our beloved that noticed this mistake of the fourth group. Alleluia.
Question: It is just a small question of understanding. For Zacchaeus, I am in Luke 19:8 "But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, "Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount." Does he say that he is already doing it or does he say that it is something he will do?
Answer: Let us read again from verse 6. "So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. All the people saw this and began to mutter, 'He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.'" Here is the first element, since the brothers said that when you believe in God after having spent a long time in the world, it is a bit difficult for you to rid yourself of what you were already doing, and that one needs time to do it, how does one call Zacchaeus here? A sinner, that is, he was a man who had a past as you can imagine. That is why other sinners believed him to be a bigger sinner. Hallelujah! Verses 8-9 "8But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, "Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount." 9Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham."
Grace be with you all who have Jesus Christ as Master!
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