It occurred to me recently why on the surface so many reject Christianity:
It doesn’t make a bit of sense.
Why would anyone want to follow a King who was born in a barn and said crazy things?
- “Blessed are the poor, the hungry, and those who are hated, ostracized and insulted by men…”
- “For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted...”
- “So the last will be first, and the first will be last…”
Last, are you kidding? From preschool on we want to be the line leader!
But rejection is no surprise to God; in his infinite kindness he even tells his babies it’s expected–
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing,
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”
1 Corinthians 1:18-19
Even though God knows people will reject him, it grieves me. Eternity separated from God? It should grieve me!
After attending Lifeway’s Deeper Still conference in Birmingham last month, I can’t stop thinking about treasure. Beth Moore’s session focused on different aspects of treasure, and since I’ve been home additional thoughts keep swirling in my mind…
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Investment is paradox
Paul, in Timothy, makes a distinction between wealth in this world and eternity. He equates self reliance (hope in wealth, what we can do) as arrogant. Instead he commands those with means to
- put hope in God
- do good
- extend generosity to those in need
- share what they have
Obedience in these things brings the surety of future treasure and true life.
Our treasures are heart indicators
Jesus was the kind of friend who never told you what you wanted to hear; he spoke unsugared Truth. So many of us (including yours truly) struggle with knowing the will of God; but throughout Scripture he tells us!
Regarding treasure, in Matthew Jesus again draws a line between the temporal and the eternal. He practically begs us not to chase a treasure that’s losable (can you hear him trying to protect us from ourselves???); instead, reminding us to invest in Kingdom things.
I love how he ends this section and I can almost see him looking straight into my eyes–“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also,” is him telling me “Darlin’, you aren’t fooling anybody.”
The best treasures in life are free
Going back to why it’s so difficult for many to believe in Christ, I don’t have to look farther than the “American Dream” and what so many people are chasing–a lifestyle full of material indulgence. Value is assigned to things, and a person’s value is attached to how many of those things he can amass.
And then I read Paul’s words, his prayer–his pleading almost–in Colossians:
My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
Treasure isn’t a thing, it’s wisdom…knowledge. King Solomon understood this when he prayed; he begged for a discerning heart, the ability to distinguish between right and wrong.
The treasures God wants to lavish on us are free! But, oh the cost to him…and I wonder how I can possibly resist his generosity at times.
You are treasured
Who God tells me I am is frankly beyond my comprehension. His treasured possession, chosen by him! Not because there’s value in and of myself but because of his love for me! For us!
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What are your thoughts about “treasure”? Do you find yourself caught in the in-between–chasing the things of this world and maybe even at the same time investing in the Kingdom? Do you think both are possible?