It’s important to know where our treasure is because that is where we’ll focus our time and energy.
Matthew 6:19-21 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.
Jesus talked to a young man whose greatest treasure was what he could touch with his hand. His treasures were what moved him in his life more than wanting to follow Jesus.
Matthew 19:20-22 The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.
What we set our affections on will be first in our life. When we set our affections on things above, our affections have shifted. If we set our affections like they’re in cement, they aren’t going to move.
Colossians 3:1-2 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
Ruth saw the fruit in her husband and Naomi’s lives and had already made up her mind to go with Naomi. For Ruth, as a woman without a husband, going with Naomi meant she was going to face hardships. She was stedfastly minded to go with Naomi. Are we stedfastly minded to follow God, not our own thoughts or opinions?
Ruth 1:11-18 And Naomi said, Turn again, my daughters: why will ye go with me? are there yet any more sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands? Turn again, my daughters, go your way; for I am too old to have an husband. If…I should have an husband also to night, and should also bear sons; Would ye tarry for them till they were grown? would ye stay for them from having husbands? nay, my daughters; for it grieveth me much for your sakes that the hand of the Lord is gone out against me. And they lifted up their voice, and wept again: and Orpah kissed her mother in law; but Ruth clave unto her. And she said, Behold, thy sister in law is gone back unto her people, and unto her gods: return thou after thy sister in law. And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest…where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die…the Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me. When she saw that she was stedfastly minded to go with her, then she left speaking unto her.
Joshua was stedfastly minded to serve the Lord. It is an everyday choice we make to serve God. Joshua warned the people about the temptation to follow the people around them and serve their gods. We’re all exposed to how people around us live and serve their gods, but we have to be stedfastly minded to follow God.
Joshua 24:14-16 Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord. And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. And the people answered…God forbid that we should forsake the Lord, to serve other gods;
Sometimes we hit a snag in life where we have to decide if we’re going to serve God, even if we’re not delivered.
Daniel 3:16-18 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.
Daniel knew his treasure was in God. He still prayed when he knew the king’s commandment was going to put him in the lion’s den. He trusted that God would help him, no matter how the situation turned out.
Daniel 6:10 Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.
We have to stop working to be rich and trying to solve our problems by our own wisdom to have God’s wisdom.
Proverbs 23:4 Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom.
We have to sell all our own wisdom and have our treasure completely in God.
Proverbs 23:23 Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.
The gold tried in the fire and white raiment are spiritual. We won’t see or understand God’s wisdom unless we sell everything to buy the spiritual gold.
Revelations 3:18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
Addicts are so focused on planning, preparing, and providing for their substance that they pay no attention to their children’s needs. At the Church Of God, we’re not playing religion but we’re focused on preparing for something much more important, for our soul and eternity.
Joel 2:11-13 And the Lord shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his word: for the day of the Lord is great and very terrible; and who can abide it? Therefore also now, saith the Lord, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.
We aren’t in the battle because of fear but we’re being honest about our heart condition before God.
Isaiah 29:13 Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:
Religion wants to take the blessings and prosperity but won’t put God first when it comes to preparing the heart. We need to be in good ground where our heart is prepared and spiritual weeds are out of our heart to be fruitful.
Matthew 13:8 But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.
How do we get to have the mysteries of heaven? We keep our ground clear and we’re completely sold out to God.
Matthew 13:11-12 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.
We must have a single purpose in our heart so we can understand with our heart and truly see.
Matthew 13:15 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.
A completely different world is opened up to us when we have good ground to bring forth good fruit.
Matthew 13:23 But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
The harvest in the end of the world leaves out those who do iniquity. There’s a difference between truly hearing and understanding what God has for us. People who get dull of hearing will no longer understand God’s will.
Matthew 13:37-43 He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
Jesus’ words are very decisive about his harvest excluding those who do iniquity – sin. It’s a choice we make to serve God and to make correct decisions according to God’s will.
Matthew 13:44-51 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away. So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Jesus saith unto them, Have ye understood all these things? They say unto him, Yea, Lord.
Keeping good ground involves sacrificing ourselves for others. We have to be dedicated and stedfastly minded to do what God wants to be complete in God’s fulness, by fully surrendering and trusting God.
Matthew 5:38-48 Ye have heard…An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away. Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
When unfair things happen, we have to fully trust God. Joseph trusted God for the way his brothers and Potiphar treated him, so he continued to prosper and have God’s blessings. His treasures were in God.
(Notes from the Mature Class Bible Study, teacher Helene Goble)