It was around twelve weeks ago when we started to dive into Jesus’ words in the Sermon on the Mount during our Watershed interactive sermons. The result of this study has been indescribable, at least it has been for me. I cannot read the words of Jesus and not be challenged to change. So far, we have covered less than two chapters of Scripture, and the amount of depth, richness, and variety of topics we’ve discussed is astonishing. Jesus didn’t mess around when He gave a sermon. While we can divide His words into topical bites, to really dive into what He has to say, we can’t afford to turn them into a self-help tool for being a better Christian. This isn’t at all what He intended to teach us.
Jesus left no room for fuzzy feelings at the end of His lesson. He brought His listeners to the edge, the point of decision between two opposing pathways. Even the most devout follower, will be left wondering at the end if His words, “Am I in the Kingdom or not?” There is no middle ground, no room for softening what it means to lay oneself upon the altar, deny self, and take up the cross of Jesus. He truly meant that we must die in order to live. Dying looks like loving our enemies and not holding grudges. Dying looks like valuing reconciliation at all costs to self and giving up any kind of earthly recognition. Dying is being changed in heart so much that lust and anger are not even part of who we are because we love others so much, we would never dare to commit murder or adultery against them. Dying means speaking the truth, ALWAYS, by doing what we say we’re going to do. It means not having to make promises because we are who we say we are. Dying is being poor and meek, sitting with others in their pain, seeking the benefit of others over our own, desiring the will of God above our own, showing mercy to others even when they don’t deserve it, and doing all we can to live in peace. Dying isn’t easy.
Last week we sunk ourselves deep into Matthew 6:19-24. Here is an exerpt: “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroy and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also,” (vs. 19-21, ESV). The type of treasure Jesus is talking about is treasure money cannot buy. It is an eternal treasure whose beauty never fades becasue it lasts forever. It is the type of treasure we CAN take with us when we die, present it before our King, and hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your Master,” (Matthew 25:21).
Towards the end of our gathering together, my husband, Dave, began talking about the people who took the time to invest spiritually in him and disciple him, showing him what it means to follow Jesus. He didn’t talk about a particular preacher he’d heard or Christian expert whose book he’d read. He talked about the people who took the time to get to know him, spend time with him, take him alongside them, and live the Jesus way with him. He reminded me of the people in my life who have done the same and some who invested in me in different ways, such as whoever it was who bought me a piano when I was a child and paid for my music lessons because they saw a future worship leader, people like the Sunday school teacher who cared enough to make sure I had food to eat because I had stomach issues and couldn’t eat what everyone else ate, people who showed real, tangible love in uncommon ways. These are pictures of what it looks like to invest in eternal treasures.
Dave ended the evening with a statement that has weighed heavily on me all week. He said, “I am a product of someone else’s treasure.” My husband and all the many lives he has reached by sharing the Gospel and discipling others is a product of someone esle valuing his eternity enough to make an everlasting investment in him, those Cru guys in college who gave him cookies to fill out a survey and invaded his life becasue they loved him enough to make sure he knew Jesus, followed Him, and would teach others to do the same. This is such a weighty matter, and I highly encourage you to meditate on it.
Whose treasure are you? Who valued you enough to make an eternal investment in you? How have you passed that on to others? In whom are you investing today? Who will be able to say about you one day, “I am a product of someone else’s treasure”? What you value says a lot about your heart and its true desires. Make sure your treasure will be able to stand the test, not just of time, but of God’s never-ending Kingdom.