Treasures in Heaven – Part 2

Treasures in Heaven - Part 2

Treasures in Heaven - Part 2 - Matthew 6:19-21

(continued from December 2001 edition)
Click here to read part 1

4. What is Spiritual Wealth? -Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven

Spiritual wealth

Spiritual debts

  • Create value.
  • Provide spiritual returns.
  • Will endure eternally.
  • Create more wealth, or treasure.
  • Lead to life.
  • Are generated by
    the Holy Spirit living in us (Romans 8:11).
  • Return further wealth of good
    fruit (Matthew 12:35; Galatians 5:22-25).
  • Take away value.
  • Incur spiritual debt. May provide material returns,
    but have no value spiritually.
  • Only last on earth.
  • Create poverty.
  • Mislead to death.
  • Are generated by the works of the flesh (Romans 8:12-13).
  • Have no returns, but lead to further debt, and
    eventual corruption and emptiness (Matthew 12:35; Galatians 5:19-21).

Spiritual wealth is made up of the things of utmost value to
God. These items of spiritual wealth build His kingdom. These can be seen as
assets and would include:

  • Salvation (Repent, Believe, Receive).
  • Faith (A gift of God).
  • Increasing in the knowledge of God -– and expressing His
    love.
  • Good works that bear fruit.
  • Care of people. (Love one another as I have loved you).

Salvation.

Jesus said, 'For God so loved the world that He gave His
only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have
eternal life" John 3:16.

This is our primary asset - salvation. We inherit this when
we become born again. Salvation is the result of repenting of our sin, believing
that Jesus died for us, and receiving Him into our hearts as our Lord and
Saviour.

Being born again is not a new religion, but a new
relationship. It is not a new cult, but a halt to sin. It is not a new church,
but a new birth. There is a story about a Jewish Rabbi being questioned by a
tourist in Jerusalem at the Praying Wall. The tourist asked, "What are you
doing?". The Rabbi answered, "I am asking God to help me with all my
troubles and problems". The tourist asked, "Well, is it working?". The
Rabbi said, "Not really. Its like banging my head against a brick wall!".
This man had religion, and not a relationship with Christ.

Knowledge of God.

God's wish for His people is that we would 'Love God and
walk in His ways, and keep His commandments and His statutes...that you may live'
Deuteronomy 30:15

Investing in knowledge is of importance because without
knowledge, God's people are destroyed. We must get to know God intimately
through His Word and become eternally linked to His love. Without God's love
we are loveless. When we are loveless, we become selfish. The more of God's
love in us, the less selfish we become. Its quite simple - just ask for it. Once
we start carrying out works of the flesh, we begin accumulating spiritual debts
that were previously paid for.

Good works.

God is interested in the now, just as He is in the past and
the future. Spend time on important things such as prayer, meditation, reading
God's Word, family and relationships. Don't waste your own time and God's
time on valueless things such as certain entertainment activities that do not
cut the righteous grades (TV, movies, magazines, video games, Internet, drinking
with the boys, etc). Watch out because before you know it you'll be taking on
some of the attitudes, behaviour and language you've exposed yourself to.
Behaviour you can't control (Galatians 5:19-21 outlines it!).

When we are led by God's Spirit, we begin doing works that
bear fruit, and every tree is known by its fruit. Ask God to open your eyes to
recognise opportunities which arise everyday. Opportunities to forgive others,
to give to those in need, to fast and pray, and to exercise spiritual gifts.
Practical opportunities such as leading someone to Christ, or teaching someone
how to read their Bible. Because we are easily caught up in our own problems, it
is easy to miss opportunities for spiritual investment.

5. The Spiritually Rich.

The spiritually rich have a deep asset base. They have
invested their time and efforts in building the foundations of their faith.
Spiritually rich people are debt free and spiritually solvent. The debt of sin
has no power over them. They do not look back (live in the past) because they
are too busy in today's action. They have realized that through giving, God
has enabled them to access a greater part of His love. Rather than accumulating
and storing up money and material wealth, they are give it to people in need and
toward God's work in the church. Money is not a problem to them, because they
are not controlled by it, they control money. They have appointed Jesus to be
their investment broker, who advises them on how to invest and spend it wisely.
Their net worth has been determined not by what they own, but by what they have
given... The purpose of becoming spiritually rich, is to be free to glorify God
even more.

Finally, the spiritually rich use the Sermon on the Mount as
their Investment Guide.

6. How to Increase Your Spiritual Investments

Psalm 46 - provides a picture of the turmoil in the world
today. It shows a prophetic picture of what is happening throughout the world
and in the hearts of people. A world very much in need of spiritually rich
people to make a difference. Jesus is the answer for the world today. Without
Him there is no other, Jesus is the way.

As a starter,

  • Believe in Jesus and allow Him to be your refuge and
    strength.
  • Eliminate fear from your life through the power of God.
  • Allow God into your heart. Let Him help you. Trust in Him
    with all your heart.
  • Open your eyes to God's works - resulting in
    fruitfulness.
  • Be still (relax your grip on things that are not useful in
    God's kingdom). Let go. Let the peace of God rule in your heart. Let go of
    all selfish desires allowing God to reach you. Let God support you, don't
    try and support God.
  • Create the right perspective on the value of things, and
    put God in His rightful place in your life.

Then go on to practice faith that works (2 Peter 1:5-10) that
leads to action.