|Make it Count...|
When you think of your life, what do you think about? What do you yearn for? In the quiet of your heart what is your desire? The Bible says:
"For where your treasure is, there your heart will also be." (Matthew 6:21)
What is your treasure? Where is it? Is it in your possessions? The things that you have compiled throughout the course of your life? Is it your job? Your family? YOU? When you are alone, what are your deepest thoughts? You know what I mean, when no one is around you, and you think about your life, what comes to mind? Whatever comes to your mind, is what your treasure is.
Here is what my treasure is... I have found throughout the journey of my 47 years (so far), the greatest treasure I have found has been coming to know Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. He is my greatest treasure. Why is that? How could I put Him above my family? My children? I can because He is the One who gave my family to me. When someone gives you a gift, do you look at the gift and not the giver and say, "thank you" ? Imagine it is your birthday, and someone gives you a birthday present, do you look down at that present and thank it? No. You look at the person with gratitude and thank them warmly for what they have given to you.The Bible says:
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believe in Him, shall not perish but shall have ever lasting life." (John 3:16)
When God created Adam and Eve, He created them to live FOREVER. They were NOT supposed to die. Death, sickness and sin came into the world when they disobeyed God and chose to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
"But you must not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die." (Genesis 2:17)
He had explained it to them before hand. There were no surprises, it happened as He said it would if they disobeyed. There are reasons why God tells us not to do something. Honestly, when you think about it, we are no different today then Adam and Eve were back then. The Bible is full of direction and examples that were meant for us to learn from, and still we sometimes choose to go against God's Word, and when we do we often open up a whole lot more then we know how to handle... Here is the good thing though, nothing surprises God. He had a plan ready to bring people back to Him. He loves us so much that He had a plan in place to bring us back to Him. That plan was Jesus.
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him, shall not perish but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)
There are those of us who have taken the "hard way" or gone off the pathway that God had originally chosen for our lives for a season and experience a "prodigal" time in our lives. We are the "hard headed ones." (I'm joking)... We chose the "hard way" and many of us have kicked ourselves all the way back down the road to our Father. When you open up a door that God never meant you to open (and for good reasons) you have to deal with the consequences of your action, whatever that door was. Even once you have returned to the Father, ol' slewfoot whispers constant accusations in your ear. Oppression is a real thing and hard to recover. There are reasons in love that God has given us rules to live by. One of them is because He knows what the pain and agony of breaking them can do to us. But one of the many gifts He has given us, is free will. We choose. We live with whatever we choose... But again, even if you have made a "bad decision" in the past - God can take what has been meant for evil and turn it around for good.
Where is your treasure?
Each of us has to answer that individually. I will say, that the greatest treasure that I have is knowing that I am a child of the Utmost High God. That I belong to Him. I gave my life to Him at the age of 21 and through this journey, He has been my greatest gift. Not because of what He provides for me or has given me (and He has given me much), but because of who He is. He is trustworthy, He is reliable, He is unchanging. He is ever present. He is my life. He is my Father.
There is a joy beyond any words I can describe in knowing Him. It is referred to as a "personal" relationship for a reason, it's unique and it is extremely personal. Afterall, "He knows my thoughts before I even think them!"(Psalms 139:2) . How can you possibly hide from the One who made you? He is Lord of my life and King of my heart. And I can say that in spite of all my waywardness and hard headedness and as an ex-prodigal having come to know Him has been (and is) my greatest treasure. Why? Because He gave my life true purpose. In knowing Him there is a peace that God's got my back, no matter what I go through in this crazy life. He is steadfast. I can count on Him, even when things don't go my way. Even when my plans are not His plans, I know that the plans He has for me are better than ANYTHING I could plan for myself. I have gotten to a point in my life where I realize a life worth living is being smack in the center of His will. That's the BEST seat in this house of life. It's upfront and personal. It's "First Class" its peace and love and contentment and even in the midst of all the craziness going on in this world, all of that craziness flows around you when you personally have accepted God's gift of salvation, it passes over you because you know Who it is you belong to. God is in control.
We live in a sinful, dark world that is getting darker and darker around us. Common sense is something that is not so common any more. There is a fury that is getting stronger as the last days come closer.
"Many shall run to and fro and knowledge will increase." (Daniel 12:4)
"But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people." (2 Timothy 3:1-5)
I think that Jesus recognized this because in John 17:15 He prayed:
"My prayer is not that You take them out of the world, but that You protect them from the evil one. They are not of this world, even as I am not of the world."
It can be hard to stay focused, even as a Christian, there are so many things tugging at us in this life. And whether or not you believe it, we are in the middle of a spiritual storm that is growing in its fury. It is hard not to get caught up in the storms around us, or the darts that the evil one tries to throw our way, or even caught up in our own fleshly desires; but if we keep focused we can rise up above the storm - keeping our eyes focused on Him, just as when Peter in Matthew 14:29 walked out of the boat onto the water his eyes were focused on Jesus. His mind was set on Jesus before him. When he started to look down and realize the incredible actual fact that he was walking on water, he started to sink. When we focus on our situation and not on our God who ultimately is in control of the situation we lose focus, and we too sink.
A life worth living is realizing how short life is. Realizing that we have a hope. That death is not the end.
"For me, to live is Christ, to die is to gain." (Philippians 1:21)
Where is your treasure? Is it one that can be stolen? Is it one that you can take with you when this life's journey is over? Is it one that can withstand the pressures of life? Does it give you peace, joy and contentment that is everlasting? Whether or not we want to face it or believe it, we are living on borrowed time. The Bible tells us:
"Man is like a mere breath; his days are like a passing shadow." (Psalm 144:4)
"Come on now you who say, 'today or tomorrow we shall go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.' Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead you should say, 'If the Lord wills we will live and also do this and that...'" (James 4:13-15)
Maybe we need to look at what our treasure is and re-evaluate what is of value to us. Rethink it because denying the truth doesn't stop the truth from being true. God has given us His very best. But it is a gift to be appreciative of and thankful for and most of all to accept because the gift His Son, Jesus gave us - His life, is the greatest treasure one can receive of all. And its yours for the taking, you just have to open up your heart, your soul and your mind - and in return, you will find a life truly worth the living. One that will last through ALL eternity.