– Alistair Begg
It’s All God’s
When I see a need, I ask myself what the Apostle Paul asked the Corinthians; “What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it” (1st Cor 4:7)? I don’t know about you, but I come up with zero! Just what I came into this world with is just what I’ll leave this world with, and that’s nothing, however we can forward our treasures to heaven by what we give away on this earth. It’s all going to burn up anyway (2nd Pet 3:7, 12). Besides, the Apostle John says, “if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him” (1st John 3:17)? That’s a good question, isn’t it?
It’s Destined to Burn Up
As I touched on earlier, all that is on this earth will burn up with fire someday, and only those things that pass through the fire will meet us in the kingdom. That should make us have a looser grip on the things we possess. In fact, a clinched fist cannot receive back from God, so open your hands to release those things you have, so that others might see the love of God displayed in action and not just by word. The Apostle Peter tells us that “by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly” (2nd Pet 3:7), so now, we are “waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn” (2nd Pet 3:12)! Only then can the new heavens and the new earth come (2nd Pet 3:13).
Building Treasures in Heaven
If we want to do a self-diagnostic to see where our heart really is, Jesus tells us, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matt 6:21). Whatever we spend our money on is the thing we value the most. Of course we must pay house payments or rent, car payments, utilities, and so forth, but it does bring up a great point, and that is, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal” (Matt 6:19), so “lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal” (Matt 6:20). All 401K’s will turn to ashes…all treasures in heaven will be there to greet you.
Being More Like God
No one can out-give God because He gave the most. What more could God have possibly given than His one and only Son Who died for those of us Who deserved the wrath of God. It is just as the Apostle Paul wrote; “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom 5:8), and even more, “while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son” (Rom 5:10). If we give ourselves over to serve and to give, we are a bit more like God, and that should include sharing what we have been blessed with.
I do not only pray for those who read these devotionals, I do pray that they can help you and I become more like Christ. To do so is painful, but we must realize that we have nothing that God didn’t give us, it’s all going to perish anyway, so why not send your treasures ahead into the kingdom, and in that way, you can be more like God by giving to those who don’t deserve it, like God died for us while we were still sinners and enemies of God (Rom 5:8-10).