August 30, 2013

Eternal Treasures

My sister’s home was flooded in June, along with thousands of others in the town where she lives. This week we put what remains of her small business back in her basement. We talked about the things we treasure and how easy it is to become caught up with ‘treasure’ that cannot last.
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. (Matthew 6:19–21)

Most of us don’t realize what we treasure or how much we value it until moth or rust or thieves or a swollen river comes and grabs it from us. This is definitely a test of the heart. When evacuation became a must in High River, some people lost everything they had except the clothes they were wearing. My sister is doing well, yet I suspect the grief hasn’t even started for many folks in her city.

Today’s devotional bids me to look forward at the treasures of eternity. The greatest will be the Person of Jesus Christ, and I am sure that wherever He is, I would be immensely joyful. However, another treasure is the place He is preparing for me. He calls it His Father’s house, a Greek term meaning God’s eternal dwelling place…

In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? (John 14:2)

Some consider it a great honor to be invited to a great home such as the White House to dine with heads of state, or the mansion of a famous entertainer or sports star. I can imagine those, but to walk into the dwelling place of God surpasses my imagination.

The invitation is simple: “Whosoever will may come.” God has no list of elite or influential people and invites everyone. In fact, those who hear and respond are at the other end of the social spectrum…

For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. (1 Corinthians 1:26–29)

Jesus often displayed a special concern for the broken and down-trodden, perhaps to emphasize that those who would dwell with Him forever didn’t need any special qualifications, only that they RSVP with a “Yes” and mean it, following Him with all their heart.

When all who respond arrive at His door, they will find a banquet prepared for them (I can imagine that). As we enter our eternal dwelling place, we will not look back. No matter how good life might be here, all of it will be shabby in comparison.

My sister says that no matter how her town is rebuilt, it will never be the same. Memories and vast changes will put an ache in the heart for a long time. Maybe that is a bit opposite to the change that will happen when my life here is over and I enter God’s eternal home. Instead of lamenting over what I have lost, all sorrow and any tears will be swallowed up by the wonder of seeing Jesus Christ face to face and receiving His heavenly treasures.

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