“What Jesus Demands From The World” – Daily Devotional (7/13/10): Demand #36 “Lay Up for Yourselves Treasures in Heaven And Increase Your Joy in Jesus”

Luke 18:24-25

“How difficult it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.”

Luke 16:10-12

“One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own?”

“Emerging in the previous chapter were two controversial claims that I will try to support from Jesus’ teaching in this chapter. First, the claim that a selfish spirit will keep us out of heaven. Second, the claim that there are degrees of reward, or degrees of joy, in heaven, depending on how sacrificially generous we were on earth.

First, Jesus implies, again and again, that a selfish spirit will keep us out of heaven. Here are five examples (pg. 274-277):

  1. “The Rich Young Ruler” ~  Luke 18: 18-30
  2. “The Rich Man & Lazarus The Beggar” ~  Luke 16: 19-31
  3. “Parable of The Sheep & The Goats” ~ Matthew 25: 31-46
  4. “Parable of The Rich Fool” ~ Luke 12: 13-21
  5. “Parable of The Shrewd Manager” ~ Luke 16: 1-15

“The other controversial claim emerging in the previous chapter and mentioned in the first paragraph of this chapter is that the degree to which we overcome our selfishness determines, in some measure, the degree of our reward—our joy—in heaven. The more sacrificially generous you are on earth, the greater will be your enjoyment of heaven… The point I am stressing here is that there are differences in the fullness of delight that each of us enjoys in heaven. Each will be full in heaven, for there are no frustrations there. But the fullness of each will not be the same since the measure that we used to bless others on earth, and that God will use to bless us in heaven, are different for different people. Therefore I say again, the more sacrificially generous we are on earth, the greater will be our enjoyment of heaven.

Because of this, I take Jesus’ command, “Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven” (Matt. 6:20), to mean: Strive to make the measure of your generosity as large as you can. This is clearly the way Jesus means it in Luke 12:33, “Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys.” In other words, the way you provide yourselves with “moneybags that do not grow old” and with “treasure in the heavens” is to “give to the needy.” Ageless moneybags and treasure in heaven are metaphors for heavenly reward—the fullness of the measure of joy we will be given in heaven. Their measure is determined by the positive command, “Give to the needy.” We lay up treasure in heaven by not hoarding here on earth, but by using our possessions sacrificially and generously—that is, lovingly. (pg. 278-280).”

Blessings,

Pastor Josh

Published in: on July 13, 2010 at 8:00 AM  Leave a Comment  
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