“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Matthew 6:19-21
For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.
A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh. Luke 6:43-45
“The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, and addeth learning to his lips.” Proverbs 16:23
“Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, ‘We ought to obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. Him hath God exalted with His right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.’ ” Acts 5:29-31
Pray for a wise heart that teaches the mouth to speak with grace and love and show forth through our lips the word of God to those who are perishing.
Pray also that we know when to speak; and that we be knowledgeable in the word of God and know when to stand against those who would try to thwart the preaching of the word of God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
“Strive not with a man without cause, if he have done thee no harm.” Proverbs 3:20
“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Matthew 6:21
Our Father all glorious and worthy of worship and praise. I praise You. All those whom You have called to Yourself through the death, burial and resurrection of Your Son Jesus worship and praise Your holy, holy, holy name. We praise You because of who You are.
I ask that You would fill us with Your Spirit that we not be at odds, striving against our fellow man without a cause against those who have done us no harm; and that we stand with You by faith and according to Your Spirit’s leadership against all that is evil and is a violation of all that is true, and just, and good, and righteous.
I pray that You continue to work in me showing me the true Treasure of my life; and to continue to work in all those who are Your showing all their true Treasure as well. We know that that true Treasure is knowing, loving and serving You through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Forgive our sins. Cleanse us and make us clean. Thank You for Your forgiveness, and may we always forgive those who have wronged us; no matter what that wrong was.
All praise and worship to You, O Lord. All glory to You Lord God Almighty through Your Son Jesus. Amen.
“And when He had called all the people, He said unto them,
‘Hearken unto Me every one and understand: There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man.
If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.’
and when He was entered into the house from the people, His disciples asked Him concerning the parable. And He saith unto them,
‘Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him; because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats?’
And He said,
‘That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: all these evil things come from within, and defile the man.’ ” Mark 7:14-23
“And the disciples came, and said unto Him, ‘Why speakest thou unto them in parables?’ He answered and said unto them,
‘Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.
Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, ‘By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: for this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.’
But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.’” Matthew 13:10-17 (KJB)
“Apply thine heart unto instruction, and thine ears to the words of knowledge.” Proverbs 23:12 (KJB)
“I will praise Thee with my whole heart: before the gods will I sing praise unto Thee.
I will worship toward Thy holy temple, and praise Thy name for Thy lovingkindness and for Thy truth: for Thou hast magnified Thy word above all Thy name.
In the day when I cried Thou answeredst me, and strengthenedst me with strength in my soul.
All the kings of the earth shall praise Thee, O LORD, when they hear the words of Thy mouth. Yea, they shall sing in the ways of the LORD: for great is the glory of the LORD.
Though the LORD be high, yet hath He respect unto the lowly: but the proud He knoweth afar off.
Though I walk in the midst of trouble, Thou wilt revive me: Thou shalt stretch forth Thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and Thy right hand shall save me.
The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: Thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of Thine own hands.” Psalm 138:1-8 (KJB)
“A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.” Proverbs 16:9 (KJB)
“The heart knoweth his own bitterness; and a stranger doth not intermeddle with his joy.
The house of the wicked shall be overthrown: but the tabernacle of the upright shall flourish.
There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” Proverbs 14:10-12 (KJB)
“The heaven for height, and the earth for depth, and the heart of kings is unsearchable.
Take away the dross from the silver, and there shall come forth a vessel for the finer.
Take away the wicked from before the king, and his throne shall be established in righteousness.” Proverbs 25:3-5 (KJB)
“Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom.
Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? For riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.
Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats: for as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: ‘Eat and drink,’ saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee. The morsel which thou hast eaten shalt thou vomit up, and lose thy sweet words.” Proverbs 23:4-8 (KJB)
“The foolishness of man perverteth his way: and his heart fretteth against the LORD.
Wealth maketh many friends; but the poor is separated from his neighbour.
A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall not escape.” Proverbs 19:3-5 (KJB)
“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!
No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” Matthew 6:19-24 (KJB)
“The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: He turneth it whithersoever He will.” Proverbs 21:1 (KJB)
“The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD. All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits.
Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.” Proverbs 16:1-3 (KJB)
“LORD, who shall abide in Your tabernacle? Who shall dwell in Your holy hill? He that walks uprightly, and works righteousness, and speaks the truth in his heart. He that backbites not with his tongue, nor does evil to his neighbour, nor takes up a reproach against his neighbour. In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honors them that fear the LORD. He that swears to his own hurt, and changes not. He that puts not out his money to usury, nor takes reward against the innocent. He that does these things shall never be moved.” Psalm 15:1-5 (KJB)
“My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: for length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.” Proverbs 3:1-2 (KJB)
“So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be My disciple.” Luke 14:33 (KJB)
Jesus has dealt with the cost of following Him in verses 25-33 of Luke 14. Many who have or are thinking of themselves as followers of Christ have truly sacrificed, and given themselves for that great name – the name of Jesus.
There is a cost to being a disciple of Jesus Christ. First of all, your heart and life become His – you are His possession. You are no longer your own. You are bought with a price (1 Corinthians 6:20; 7:23). Secondly, you see as He sees, you believe as He believes. If He has declared something a sin; it is sin. You are in agreement with Him and His word. Human opinion is moot against the word of God. Third, you love Jesus Christ more than family, friends, work, play, sports, deer hunting, hunting, wife, children, grandchildren, and more than your own life (Luke 14:26). In this there are times when you will stand for the truth of God and His word at the disdain of these. Fourth, not the least of these is your greatest treasure is Jesus Christ Himself (Matthew 6:21; Luke 12:34).
The cost of discipleship – of following Jesus – is the cross we must choose to pick up. Let us keep in mind the price He paid that we could do so. He went to the cross, laid down His life, took the judgment that was yours and mine, died, was buried, and then He rose again. Through Him, there is life everlasting.
“Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.” Romans 10:1 (KJB)
The apostle Paul was a Jew. He was a Hebrew, in fact calling himself, “…An Hebrew of the Hebrews…” (Philippians 3:5), and he spent his early ministry endeavoring to win the Jewish people to the Messiah Jesus. He nearly lost his life a few times doing so.
In Romans 9 – 11 we see just how much Paul loves his people it is almost a final plea for them to repent, to turn to the One who is their Redeemer, before it is turned over completely to the Gentiles for the age.
I have a question for myself this morning. Is my heart’s desire, and prayer for my people so powerful, so strong that I would risk my life, my all, my living for a lost soul? I desire, I strongly desire to see a soul come to faith in Jesus Christ.
Jeremiah the prophet said,
“Oh that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people!” Jeremiah 9:1
God has given me what I need to lead a lost, condemned, dying man, or woman to Jesus. By the power of His Spirit in me I can and will do it.
“Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.” Romans 7:12 (KJB)
There are some who speak and act as though the law of God is bad, evil and of ill intent. That is a wrong accusation coming from a sinful heart and mind.
The law is from God; thus it is holy. God gave the law to reveal our sin. The apostle Paul in the letter to the Galatians said,
“But the Scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.” Galatians 3:22-25
No longer under the law as a “schoolmaster” because now, redeemed through the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ Jesus we have a new heart filled with the right ways, the holiness, the law of God, and power and authority to walk in it.
So, let us walk in it.
In the first chapter of Romans we find the phrase “God gave them up” which is really a very sad state to live in, and it really explains for the moral failures of 2019.
The second one we see is that GOD RELEASES THEM TO THEIR OWN DECAY AND FILTH OF IMMORALITY (Romans 1:24-25).
“Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.” Romans 1:24-25 (KJB)
Why did God “give them up” to this ungodly – unrighteous behavior? They had a knowledge of God, but chose to suppress it. They turned away from God to worship idols made in the image of created thing – birds, beasts, and even themselves. Because they rejected God; sexual immorality most always follows wrong beliefs, and in particular the worship of idols. It is an act of dishonoring the human body and God.
When they turned from the truth they believed the Lie. The Lie is, “Did God really say that?” It is just a question, but one that places the seeds of unbelief in the heart. It was the first question the Bible speaks of that the serpent/devil asked in order to deceive. It is still being asked today. Not one of many lies but “the Lie” (Genesis 3:1-5). “And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie” [the Lie] (NKJV 2 Thessalonians 2:11). The Lie, that we can be like God – we become our own god. We have chaos when there is more than one God. There is war, strife of all sorts, contentions, and immoral living.
Satan is the father of lies. Jesus said, speaking to the religious leaders who rejected Him,
“Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it” (John 8:44).
Following this lie requires no accountability to a deity, except self. No one, can tell someone of this mindset, what is right or wrong. To them everything is ‘relative’ – they already have their preconceived ideas; they call good ‘evil’ and evil ‘good’.
“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20).
Moral decay, such as we see in our land, and the world is due to denying the truth, and believing the Lie, the father of lies, the devil. It leads to personal ruin, and eternal death.
The only hope we all have is in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. He turns our heart to His way. He is the way, the Truth, and the life. When you put your faith in Him He changes your life, your direction, and gives you peace and joy for living.
“Seek good, and not evil, that ye may live: and so the LORD, the God of hosts, shall be with you, as ye have spoken. Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate: it may be that the LORD God of hosts will be gracious unto the remnant of Joseph.” Amos 5:14-15 (KJB)
In the year of 2019 and beyond it seems that it is getting more and more difficult for some to discern the difference between “Good” and “Evil”. Our definition of each word will depend upon our source for making that determination.
If our source is the political system, Hollywood, the News media, or any other media then we will have varied, and wide, and wild interpretations of good and evil. These forms of information are dependent upon the ideologies, and hearts and minds of sometimes not so clear thinking individuals who have only love for themselves; and not truth.
Good and evil in the best understanding must be defined by God’s Word; the Person of God’s word is the Truth and He defines what is good and what is evil. The Person of Truth is none other than the only begotten Son of God Jesus Christ.
If God’s Word tells us that something is “Good”, then it is good. If He tells us that something is “Evil”, then it is evil.
It is quite clear from the reading of Scripture that God is good. It has been said, “God is good” and “God is good all the time” and “All the time God is good”. Since He is good, then everything He says and does is good.
It becomes then quite clear that since God is good He is the only One who can truly define evil, what it is, and where it comes from; so when God speaking through the prophet Jeremiah said, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desparately wicked. Who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) then we can rest assured that God knows what He is saying, that it is the truth. We also can safely conclude that we are in need of a Savior; since we have a deceitful and wicked heart.
Amos by the word of the LORD says to “Seek good, and not evil”. What are you seeking today. There is good and there is evil. Anything contrary to God and His Word is evil. When you put your faith and trust in the work of Jesus Christ and His finished work of His death on the cross, His burial, and resurrection; then your definition of good and evil will change to agreeing with God. Seek good, and not evil. God is good.
“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12 (KJB)
The Holy Bible is the written word of God, verbally inspired by God (2 Timothy 3:16-17), penned down by common men chosen by God, and upon whom the LORD had poured His Spirit upon. Around 40 of these men from Job and Moses to the apostle John; and over a period of many hundreds of years; were called by God to write these words for the guidance, direction, conviction, inspiration, encouragement and comfort of His people.
With the word of God being questioned by so many it reminds me of the first question ever asked to turn a couple of people away from what God had said. That question was, “Yea, has God said…?” (Genesis 3:1). That tells me where the questions of doubt; and it is not honest doubt; but doubt which leads to the destruction of faith in God.
Honest doubt and questions of such are to gain knowledge and wisdom concerning God and His word. The enemy’s question was meant for destruction, not learning and growth.
Now, I will get to the above text for today.
- The word of God is living and that means it is set, it is settled in Heaven (Psalm 119:89), it is immutable – never changing; it is God’s word, and is just as reliable as God Himself;
- It is powerful/active; through this living word God changes lives; He has sent His son who is the physical incarnation of His word, Jesus Christ, and is the Living Word of God, and cannot be separated from the written word; the word of God has power to give life and to take away life;
- Sharper than any two edged sword; the sword of the soldier of the day was one with a double edge; it cut which ever way it was swung; in a forward thrust it pierced with great fierceness; the word of God is likened to that, but is said to be sharper, and is a divider of the soul and spirit, on “the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow,” John Gill’s Exposition says, “…the apostle’s meaning seems to be this, that whereas the soul and spirit are invisible, and the joints and marrow are covered and hid; so sharp and quick sighted, and so penetrating is the divine Word, that it reaches the most secret and hidden things of men: and this sense is confirmed by what follows,” John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible;
- The word of God is also a discerner of the thoughts and intentions of the heart of men, women, and children; the psalmist prayed in Psalm 139:23, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me and know my thoughts…”; O how wicked and vile the human heart and mind can be.
When we know God, and trust His word we can trust Him to reveal our wickedness to ourselves; and that leads the heart of the child of God to repentance, and forgiveness.
The word of God is living, and active, never changing. We must pattern our lives after the Book; not try changing the book to fit our lives.
“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.” 2 Corinthians 4:7 (KJB)
Gold, silver, precious stones, or metals; is that what I write of today? There is a treasure so great that it is greater than ourselves. It is greater than houses or lands. It is even greater than family or a multitude of friends.
I write of the presence, the power, the grace, and knowledge of God in our lives. Our greatest treasure is knowing the All-Powerful, All-present, and All-Knowing One who has created all things, and is greater than the universe itself; and that He is Immutable, and that He knows those who are His.
Our treasure is where our hearts and minds dwell; for Jesus said,
“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Matthew 6:21
I will finish this by leaving with you the commentary of Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown on 2 Corinthians 4:7…
“Lest any should say, How then is it that we continue to enjoy such unspeakable glory in a mortal body? Paul replies, this very fact is one of the most marvelous proofs of God’s power, that an earthen vessel could bear such splendor and keep such a treasure” [Chrysostom, Homilies, 8.496, A]. The treasure or “the light of the knowledge of the glory of God.” The fragile “earthen vessel” is the body, the “outward man” (2Co_4:16; compare 2Co_4:10), liable to afflictions and death. So the light in Gideon’s pitchers, the type (Jdg_7:16-20, Jdg_7:22). The ancients often kept their treasures in jars or vessels of earthenware. “There are earthen vessels which yet may be clean; whereas a golden vessel may be filthy” [Bengel].
that the excellency of the power, etc. — that the power of the ministry (the Holy Spirit), in respect to its surpassing “excellency,” exhibited in winning souls (1Co_2:4) and in sustaining us ministers, might be ascribed solely to God, we being weak as earthen vessels. God often allows the vessel to be chipped and broken, that the excellency of the treasure contained, and of the power which that treasure has, may be all His (2Co_4:10, 2Co_4:11; Joh_3:30).
may be of God … not of us — rather, as Greek, “may be God’s (may be seen and be thankfully [2Co_4:15] acknowledged to belong to God), and not (to come) from us.” The power not merely comes from God, but belongs to Him continually, and is to be ascribed to him.Him continually, and is to be ascribed to him.”
The Great Treasure is to have this treasure in these flesh and blood bodies, and know that He has saved us, He has redeemed us, and thought this body is decaying He is being glorified in and through us.
Jesus Christ died on the cross to redeem us unto the Father, was buried, and He rose again. Will you believe this? Turn from your sins and to Jesus.