"Sell your possessions and give to charity; make yourselves money belts which do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near nor moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there you heart will be also." Luke 12:33-34 NASB)
We have spent the last two days considering the subject of storing our treasure in heaven. We began with "Where is Your Treasure". Yesterday, we looked at a "Never Fail Investment".
It's easy to get so busy with the details of our lives that we forget an important truth. Every day, as we live our lives, we are making an investment in eternity. We would do well to consider whether it is an investment that will stand the test of time or not.
Paul described our works as building on a foundation of truth. We can build with gold, silver, and precious stones that will last or with wood, hay, and stubble that will not. One day, he said, our works will be tried by fire. Only that which remains after a trial by fire will receive a reward.(1 Corinthians 3:12-13)
I tend to think that my "works" need to be done in Jesus' name, but that's not completely correct. My good works need to not only be done in Jesus' name but also in Jesus' way.
Jesus' way is to do our good works in such a manner that God receives all the credit, all the glory. (Matthew 5:16) Jesus' way is to be careful of practicing our good works so that others will see. When we give and serve in a way that encourages others to notice, their notice and accolades are all the reward we will receive. Give secretly, Jesus said, and our Father who sees what is done in secret will reward us.
It's so easy to share our good deeds with others rather than leave them at the foot of the cross. It's easy to turn what we meant to be pure gold into wood, hay, and stubble when we give in to the desire for the recognition of others. The blessing, however, is borne from the recognition we seek. God's or man's?
If we want an eternal blessing, we need to live in an eternal way, our feet on earth and our hearts in heaven. Do we keep our minds on things above or merely surviving in this world? Following Jesus means following His way, and His way is the way of the Cross.
Relinquishing our hold on all we love, all the spotlight, all the accolades of men, we follow Him. We go, confident that God sees and rewards, and His eternal reward will last throughout eternity.
Our Father, forgive us for the tight hold we keep on the things of this world. Help us to cling to You above all else. Show us Your way. Help us to invest our lives in Your kingdom and to have eternal significance. In Jesus' name. Amen