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And He Himself gave some to be....evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ...
- Ephesians 4:11-12

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Location: The Hill Country of Texas

Pastor - Providence Reformed Baptist Church
Director - TIME in the Word Ministries

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

True Value

TIME in the Word - Daily Devotional
Together for Inspiration, Motivation, and Encouragement

Verse of the Day - Matthew 6:19
Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal;

Daily Scripture Reading - 1 Corinthians 9

Puritan Catechism
Question #9 - What is the work of creation?
Answer - The work of creation is God's making all things (Gen. 1:1) of nothing, by the Word of his power (Heb. 11:3), in six normal consecutive days (Exod. 20:11), and all very good (Gen. 1:31).

Devotional Thoughts
Matthew 6:19 - Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal;

At issue in this part of the Sermon on the Mount is what we are to value in our hearts. What holds a position of priority in our lives? We have already been taught how to give, pray, forgive, and fast. All of these are elements of living a life that is truly blessed. And in all of these areas one fact rings true again and again - what we place emphasis on in our lives will show in our spiritual service.

If we value giving, then we will be a cheerful, generous giver. If we value praying we will spend time praying. If we value God we will invest in our relationship with Him every day! So by now Jesus has made quite a large point out of heart attitude. And for the next few verses He brings the point home.

What do we treasure? What do we truly value? What has priority in our lives? To answer those questions we must look at our speech and our behavior. What we say and do is a direct indication of the condition of our heart! So Jesus tells us what NOT to treasure first.

We are not to treasure things for SELF! We aren't told here not to lay up treasures -especially when we look at the next two verses. The key to this verse is not the laying up of treasures on earth, either. That is not the point. Those who believe that taking vows of poverty makes them godly miss the lesson. Only once in Scripture did Jesus ever tell anyone to sell all he had and give it to the poor. The rich young ruler was so directed because his money and possessions were his idol and they stood in the way to his salvation. To give would have been to rid himself of the idol! Look at Scripture - Abraham and Joseph, and even Job were all wealthy! So Jesus is not condemning riches. The key in this verse is found in the word "yourselves."

Jesus said that they were not (and we are not) to lay up treasures on earth for ourselves! We can invest in spiritual and physical things, but whatever we do must be for HIM! Where have we heard that before? You see, finding and doing God's will is as simple as pleasing Him wherever we are! He does not condemn us for being rich or poor. He gives us what we need to carry out His plan for our lives. But when we store up (the word for lay up means to stack up upon each other, like coins) things for SELF, not for God or ministry, or the poor and needy, or the church, but all for self, that is when we disobey Him with our priorities.

Just as Corrie Ten Boom said, it is not the things she owned, but the things that owned her that God would have to pry out of her fingers. The things we possess, understanding that God owns it all, and the things we use for His glory don't own us! If we are bound up in things to the neglect of our spiritual lives, then we have an idol that needs tearing down.

We must also realize that Jesus is teaching us the value of eternal things. The things we do store up on this earth, even if we have them for God and His work and glory, if it is here on this earth it can be eaten by moths, be destroyed by rust, or be stolen. So doesn't it make sense to possess things that are permanent and eternal? How? Now we're getting ahead of ourselves - that's for later!

Don't lay up for YOURSELVES -- look to help others. Put Him first, others second, and yourself last!! Focus all attention on Him and His will. Don't take the time and effort to focus on the things, either. Too many Christians get hung up on the "things." The things aren't the point, Jesus is! And if we value Him and our relationship with Him, then we will use the things He gives us for His benefit and glory. Turn your eyes upon Jesus, remember?

I would like to close today with a quote from G. Campbell Morgan. He wrote, "You are to remember with the passion burning within you that you are not the child of to-day. You are not of the earth, you are more than dust; you are the child of tomorrow, you are of the eternities, you are the offspring of Deity. The measurements of your lives cannot be circumscribed by the point where blue sky kisses green earth. All the fact of your life cannot be encompassed in the one small sphere upon which you live. You belong to the Infinite. If you make your fortune on the earth -- poor, sorry, silly soul -- you have made a fortune, and stored it in a place where you cannot hold it. Make your fortune, but store it where it will greet you in the dawning of the new morning."

Whatever He gives you today - commit it to His glory.


Puritan Voices
We are reading a small portion each day from Enoch Walked With God - A Sermon by Edward Griffin

Finally, another consequence of walking thus closely with God, is an enlarged share of immortal glory. In heaven the blessed inhabitants all walk with God, every day and hour. And they find it no burden but a happiness which they would not exchange for the whole creation. Why was it not then a happiness on earth? And yet for an exemplary march in that happy course, millions have found their blessedness eternally increased. The enhanced joy of a single soul for a few hours, will outweigh all the pleasures of all the wicked on earth. The time will come when that additional blessedness of a single soul, will have out-measured all the happiness enjoyed on earth from Adam to the conflagration. A little further, and it will have exceeded all the happiness enjoyed by saints and angels in heaven before the day of judgement. And further still, but imagination faints and turns back from the pursuit, and can only exclaim, How infinite the good resulting from one degree of additional faithfulness.

From the weight of all these reasons for a close walk with God, I hope you are now prepared to give your whole attention while,

III. I state the prominent means by which such a walk can be kept up.

Humility and faith, as we have already seen, are not means merely, but are involved in the very idea of a walk with God. Without these we cannot approach God, much less walk with him. The same may be said of obedience generally. These in the inquiry are not considered so much in the light of means, as a part of the walk which means are to keep up. And yet particular acts of disobedience may be mentioned as things to be avoided and particular acts of faith may be named as means to be employed. The means involve two things, the guarding against what is injurious and the attending to what is useful.

1. The guarding against what is injurious.

a. It is absolutely impossible to preserve the soul in the habit of conversing with God, without avoiding improper conversation with men; not only every thing false or impure or profane or malicious or revengeful or passionate, but every thing deceitful or slanderous or uncharitable or uncandid or vain. It is even said "that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgement. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned."

b. Vain thoughts are another hindrance to an intimate walk with God. This led the pious Psalmist to say, "I hate vain thoughts." There cannot exist a great degree of spirituality, unless the mind is habitually employed in spiritual contemplations. People who consume most of their leisure hours in thoughts of vanity, do not walk with God. It betrays a heart full of idolatry: and as well might the worshippers of Baal claim to walk with Israel's God. These cold thoughts diffuse chills of death through all the soul, and can no more coexist with its spiritual activity, than paralysis can coexist with the activity of the body.

c. No known sin must be indulged. One such Achan fostered in our camp, will prove that we have not only no intimacy with God, but no acquaintance with him. One indulged sin is as decisive against us as a hundred. "Whosoever shall keep the whole law and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all."

d. Undue worldly affections and cares must be excluded. Those affections for the world are undue which are not constantly subjected to the love of God; that is, are not ready, at all times, cheerfully to submit to the rules which he has made to regulate our use and management of the world, and to any sacrifices which his providence may extort from us or require at our hands. And those cares are undue which, from their number or pressure, seduce the heart from God. Every worldly care necessarily draws the attention from God for a season, as we cannot fixedly attend to two things at once. But if the heart is not enticed away, the thoughts and affections will spontaneously return to him at every interval of care and with ever fresh delight. Those affections and cares which, according to these definitions, are undue, obstruct our communion with God and abate our intimacy with him. Of course they must be guarded against if we would walk with him.


Bible Reading For Further Study

Recommended Songs for Worship

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