Saturday, November 17, 2012

November 18, 2012

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for your selves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21

In an increasingly dark and dangerous world, we are looking for a safe place – not just to hide our stuff, but a safe place for ourselves and those we love.

Jesus gives some comforting insights on Heaven in these several short verses.

I. HEAVEN IS A SURE PLACE – V. 20 – “in heaven”

You might occasionally have doubts about the existence of Heaven and wonder if it is just the product of wishful thinking. How can I be sure there really is a Heaven?

Because of Jesus’ Preaching

Jesus preached and talked about Heaven. Like in these verses, for example. Nearly 120 times He referred to Heaven.

Because of Jesus’ Promise

Jesus said, in John 14:1-4, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust ealso in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”

According to this promise, Jesus is there right now getting Heaven ready for you. He is preparing a place just for you!

Heaven is for SURE! It is more real than this world you live in – of sight and sound and touch – because this world will pass away but Heaven is forever!
II. HEAVEN IS A SECURE PLACE – V. 20 – “where moth and rust do not destroy”

There are not disaster drills in Heaven! No armies or police, or FBI either. There is no need!

“Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.  saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. ”He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making   new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true. ”He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life.  Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. 8But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” Revelation 21:1-8

That sounds like a safe secure place to me!

Then John the Revelator goes on to describe the walls around this city that are 200 feet thick and 1,400 miles high.

Talk about a gated community! Those sound like some secure walls to me!



We have already seen some ways Heaven is special. But it gets more special as we add treasures up there!

Heaven is special because of the special things we already have there:

My name is written there, my God is there, my Jesus is there, my citizenship is there, my hope is there, my reward is there, my friends and loved ones are there and I keep adding more treasures!

It is true you can’t take it with you but you can send it ahead!

Heaven is a SURE place! It is a SECURE place! And it is a SPECIAL place that gets more special as we put our treasures there! I believe that! You believe that!

"Imagine stepping onto a shore and finding it's Heaven.
Imagine taking hold of a hand and finding it's God's hand.
Imagine breathing new air and finding it's celestial.
Imagine feeling invigorated and finding its immortality.
Imagine passing from storms and tempest to an unknown calm.
Imagine waking up and finding it's home."
Jesus is preparing Heaven for you!
Heaven is for people who are prepared!
Are you preparing for Heaven?

November 17, 2012

 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6:19-21
I am late posting this because I have been preoccupied with comforting a friend who just lost his young wife in a tragic and senseless accident. It has been a challenge because she not only leaves him behind but also three young children and one of them found her body.
Comforting him has also been difficult because he is 1,200 miles away. They are members of my church who recently relocated to get a fresh start on life. Well, I guess you can say that yesterday she did. She relocated. But she leaves them a whole new series of readjustments.
So, I am in the middle of processing all this and trying to help him process it and what better place to turn than the Word of God? The Spirit of God keeps leading me to this Scripture. I am not sure why except I have been preaching and studying about stewardship and suddenly tragedy intrudes on me and I am thinking about heaven. I guess this verse combines those two concepts.
In this portion of Scripture Jesus tells us that there is a safe place to hide our valuables and heaven is that place! It is where one of this young man's most valuable possessions now resides.
Recently Barbara and I switched from a large national bank to a small local credit union. One of the first things we did was to ask about a safe deposit box where we can put the few valuable things we own. There was a waiting list. So we got on it and we waited.
Not to long ago we got that call that it was our turn to have a box. One was available for our stuff. So we gathered up our stuff and went to the credit union. The woman in charge of the safe deposit boxes escorted us into the vault where the boxes are, showed us our box and opened it for. We put our valuables in the box and she locked it up and we walked out feeling our stuff is safe and secured inside a locked box that slides into a heavy metal case that is locked in a vault that is located inside a secured building.
We found a safe place to hide our stuff. We all need a safe place to secure our valuable stuff.
Jesus is telling us that Heaven is a safe place to hide our stuff. In fact, there is no safer place to put is because no thief will break in there and there is no mold or rust. We can't take our stuff there but we can send it ahead by investing it in the things that matter to God - people.That lends a whole new significance to stewardship.
And Jesus mentions that the more valuables we hide safely in heaven, as we get more invested there, the more our hearts get drawn there. The more treasures that get sent there the more we want to go there.
As you invest your time and tithes and talents in the Kingdom of God the more deposits you are making in heaven. They are safe there and they are there forever! You will never lose them.
That is true of our valuable stuff but it is also true of our most valuable relationships! Your most valuable treasures that are laid up in heaven may be a mother or a father or a grandparent or a brother or a sister or even a child. And as those treasures accumulate in heaven, your heart begins to long for that place as well.
This young man and his three boys now have another treasure laid up in heaven. Jesus came and got her and led here into that place that He had purchased and prepared for her. She is safe and secure and enjoying the things that she has sent ahead.They can find comfort knowing she is in that safe place and find their hearts turning more toward heaven.
How about you? Have you found a safe place for your valuables?