Tag Archives: treasure

A Joyless Waste

8 Nov

May we shout for joy over your salvation, and in the name of our God set up our banners! May the LORD fulfill all your petitions!
Psalm 20:5

With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.
Isaiah 12:3

Yet I will rejoice in the LORD; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
Habakkuk 3:18

I am writing this post because I believe Christians are not challenged enough and we are raising pathetically spiritually lazy believers who could not care less about how God wants them to live. They are attending Friday nights and Sunday mornings and the truth of the gospel is not entering their hearts. They are not being challenged and so they are wasting their lives. I am writing this post out of love because I was challenged one year by this revelation and it rang true to my soul, so much so that I remind myself of this truth  everyday so that I don’t waste my life. The content of this post did not come from my own head, but from the true and just Word and from the mouths and pens of countless preachers, authors and missionaries in all of history who also wanted to challenge their generation to fully understand what it means to be a disciple of Christ. I pray that these words would be Bible saturated and would penetrate the heart and soul of the reader.

 

“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
Matthew 13:44

Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.
Psalm 51:12

Jesus tells a parable in Matthew 13:44 about a man who finds a hidden treasure in a field, covers it up and, in his joy, goes and buys that piece of land. This passage paints a perfect picture of salvation. At the sight of the hidden treasure, the man is so overjoyed that his joy compels him to buy that land. Joy does not first enter the man after buying the land, it enters him when he first discovers this treasure. This is biblical proof that joy happens before salvation, not after. If joy were to happen after salvation, it would be our reaction to escaping the fiery furnace and not our response to the discovery of this unimaginable treasure. When King David writes about the “joy of Your salvation”, he wants the Lord to restore to him the joy he felt when he was a young man of God. It was that joy that made him stand in front of Goliath, trusting that his one and only Treasure would show His power.

 

And the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy. But these have no root; they believe for a while, and in time of testing fall away.
Luke 8:13

“The Scotch catechism says that man’s chief end is ‘to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.’ But we shall then know that these are the same thing. Fully to enjoy is to glorify. In commanding us to glorify Him, God is inviting us to enjoy Him.” C.S. Lewis

“God is glorified not only by  His glory’s being seen, but by its being rejoiced in. When those that see it delight in it, God is more glorified than if they only see it.” Jonathan Edwards

“The joy of the Lord will arm us against the assaults of our spiritual enemies and put our mouths out of taste for those pleasures with which the tempter baits his hooks.” Matthew Henry

However, joy upon hearing the gospel and the word does not necessarily mean there is salvation. In Luke 8:13, we are reminded that the seeds on the rocky road are received with joy, but the seed has no root, and so the belief stays for a while, but then leaves. Joy alone is not enough. Unless joy inspires you to strive for Christ’s glorification everyday of your life, the joy we felt at “salvation” is not evidence that we are saved, for we will recognize them “by their fruits”. The man in the parable bought the piece of land because he was full of joy. When we take joy in Christ alone and in the revealing of His glory and power, good fruit comes along. If you take joy in spending time with a close friend whom you respect, you would hate to disappoint that friend. How much more then would you hate disappointing the Father if you take joy in Him and make Him your hidden Treasure? Therefore, we bear good fruit when we take joy in the vine, Christ Jesus. And when we bear fruit, God is glorified. Joy in Christ and His glorification come hand in hand. If we find joy in things other than Christ, then we are not living for Him alone and He is not receiving the glory He rightfully deserves.

 

“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:11

I was very much challenged with this truth when I first heard it. It is not easy to swallow because it condemns us and our lifestyle. I used to take joy in many wrong things, I had no idea what it really meant to be a Christian.  I still have a hard time taking joy in knowing Christ. Everyone does, but I make it my focus every day to make Him my treasure so that my limited time on this earth would glorify the One with whom I will spend eternity. Are we living every moment for Him alone? Is our full joy found in Christ alone? Is He really our all-satisfying treasure?  Or are we just wasting our lives, not caring about magnifying the Father? Of course perfection will never be attained in this life, but shouldn’t we as Christians at least try to reflect Christ to the world? Did not Christ take the most joy in His father out of every creature who ever walked this planet?

Lord Jesus, remind us everyday of the joy that comes with discovering You,

Help us to make You our all-satisfying treasure,

And may we bear good fruit and glorify You in return

And not let our lives got to waste.

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All-Satisfying Treasure

1 Nov

“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. – Matthew 13:44

This parable describes how someone is converted and brought into the kingdom of heaven. A person discovers a treasure and is impelled by joy to sell all that he has in order to have this treasure. The kingdom of heaven is the abode of the King. The longing to be there is not the longing for heavenly real estate, but for camaraderie with the King. The treasure in the field is the fellowship of God in Christ.

I conclude from this parable that we must be deeply converted in order to enter the kingdom of heaven and that we are converted when Christ becomes for us a Treasure Chest of holy joy — a crucified and risen Savior who pardons all our sins, provides all our righteousness, and becomes in His own fellowship our greatest pleasure.

So the faith that pleases God is the assurance that when we turn to Him, we will find the all-satisfying Treasure. We will find our heart’s eternal delight. But do you see what this implies? It implies that something has happened in our hearts before the act of faith. It implies that beneath and behind the act of faith that pleases God, a new taste has been created — a taste for the glory of God and the beauty of Christ. Behold, a joy has been born!

Once we had no delight in God, and Christ was just a vague historical figure. What we enjoyed was food and friendships and productivity and investments and vacations and hobbies and games and reading and shopping and sex and sports and art and TV and travel…but not God. He was an idea — even a good one — and a topic for discussion; but He was not a treasure of delight.

Then something happened. It was like the opining of the eyes of the blind during the golden dawn. First the stunned silence before the unspeakable beauty of holiness. Then the shock and terror that we had actually loved the darkness. Then the settling stillness of joy that this is the soul’s end. The quest is over. We would give anything if we might be granted to live in the presence of this glory forever and ever.

John Piper, Desiring God.  Multnomah Publishers Inc.. 2003. 70-71.

I pray that you will meditate on these few paragraphs this week. I will do the same and will write my thoughts next week.

May the Lord Jesus Christ become your treasure and bless you with His holy joy.


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