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May 6, 2016

Text: “My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom, and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.”  Proverbs 2:1-5

Paul the apostle speaks about the efforts of getting to heaven. He sees little ease for the wayfaring Christian,  tiresome effort, rather, for those who aspire to claim heavenly rewards. For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.” I Timothy 4:10  The use of the words toil and strive indicate pitched labor.   Jesus concurs of the difficulty of the labor to be sacrificed by the seekers of heavenly treasure. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”  Matthew 7:14  As Christians today we are not exempt from the exacting effort of seeking heaven.

On January 24, 1848 James Marshal discovered gold at Sutter’s Mill near Coloma, California beginning a great migration of fortune hunters from around the world. Some were experienced miners, but most were “greenhorns”, naïve and greedy. There was little knowledge of mining technique among the miners who tried many schemes to extract the precious ore from the ground. At first nuggets could be found simply lying on the ground, but soon more laborious  methods were needed. Small specks of shiny flakes could be “panned” from a river or creek by using a pie pan to wash away dirt and expose the loot. Or a sluice could be built to do the same as panning, but on a larger scale. Nevertheless, it was all back-breaking drudgery. No payday without continuing exhausting labor.

In our quest for God’s treasure the first lesson to be learned is to orient ourselves to the true object of our search. If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” Colossians 3:1-2 Choose the proper reward of heaven’s treasure, and never abandon it for any substitutes. When I was a young boy I was enthralled with “swash-bucklers”, books and movies about treasure on the high seas. A dear aunt gave me a gift of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island. Erroll Flynn, Gary Cooper, and Charles Lawton were bold movie buccaneers. As an adult I have enjoyed the Pirates of the Caribbean films. One thing you could not miss about these adventurers: there must always be a treasure map in order to locate  treasure.  No surprise! God provided the directions. “‘Thus says the Lord: “Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls.'” Jeremiah  6:16

In pursuit of the treasure of righteousness and eternal life Christians must discipline themselves to render their best service the Lord.  Our duty must be assumed and we must play by the instructions.  Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. 25 Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26 So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. 27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.” I Corinthians 9:24-27  As a schoolboy my son played Little League baseball. In a particularly close game my son delivered a solid single and a succeeding batter nailed a long ball to right center that went past the center fielder for extra bases. My son kicked into high gear and steamed around the bases hoping to score. Alas! he failed to touch third base and seemed to score, but was called out because, according to the rules, the baserunner  must step on each base. I don’t remember who was the most crestfallen, my son or myself. It was that one little misdeed that lost the game for his team. A valuable lesson in life as well as in sports. Prepare well and play hard! Much is at stake.

Make a firm determination as to what is truly most valuable in life. (Hint: it is nothing in this life!) I know not who first said this, but: All that coruscates with effulgence is not ipso facto aureus! That’s high brow for “All that glitters is not in fact gold.” Look long and hard at what you really think is real and valuable. Is it really what it seems? Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. 17 And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.” I John 2:15-17

Determine to work hard.




From → Christian duty

One Comment
  1. Larry permalink

    We really do think a lot alike. That last paragraph sounds like the article I just wrote for our bulletin.-LS

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