Faith of Jesus Daily Devotional - Day 24
Previous Context: devotion:Matthew:6:16-18 Fasting
What is God doing?
When God created man and women HE created a creature in HIS own image with tremendous heart, a heart that was self aware, that could freely choose, that could be fond of and treasure. When HE the looked upon all that HE had created HE declared all of it very good. Since the fall man's heart remains just as created, but his corruption has taken deep hold. The things that he has become aware of, that he chooses, that he directs himself to do and treasure are much different now and nothing but vain and rebellious.
Things have changed on earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal. It is no longer just good, it is cursed, this with good reason, it is submitted to this vanity with one overriding hope. One way to think of this is that God has backed off in some areas and strongly inserted HIMSELF into others, not deserted mind you, made it so that man cannot help but know his ill condition and knows to come back to HIM else suffer the great death promised the day he ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
What happens when God backs off? Things decay and unravel. We see this occurring in a great many things: physics and physiology for instance. Yet there is the man with his heart set upon the things other than God that will not not last, the things of this world, the things of his rebellious making, attempting to be as gods in their own eyes. Man has set himself out to fix these things by his own intellect and resource, but the areas where God direct presence has been backed off are not fixable other than God stepping forward again. This odd condition will not continue any longer than it takes for God to deliver HIS chosen in and place HIS enemies at the Lord's footstool.
We have said that we are intended as a love gift from the Father to the Son, therefore God has been doing one thing all along, that which was promised the hour of man's fall, and that for/by HIS Son the Seed/Victor.
What is man doing?
Laying up treasures upon earth, mostly wealth. His broken soul is comforted in these things; they give him the illusion of power and protection. There is some attempt mentioned to serve God made by some while still serving this earthly treasure, but typically one or the other wins out and by the flesh's enmity with God it is nearly always the one.
It is said that the eye is the light of the body. It is proven throughout scripture that man's eye is definitely corrupt, doing what is right in it's own eye, being as gods in their own eyes, eyes having been opened to good and evil. The light of our eye cannot help but be darkness, though we refuse to say so; it is blind to the things of God, blind to it's own imperfections, blind to HIS salvation and HIS holiness, blinded by self and the god of this world and hardened impervious to every evidence to the contrary.
Oh what a darkness it must be if we could only see it. The Apostle John explained the light and darkness this way:
Our benchmarks that we have used from this sermons introduction would go a long way to show us why we continue to see this all wrong.
What does this passage tell us about the about the commands and faith of Jesus that saints are to keep/guard?
"But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven" calmly says Jesus "where your treasure is, there will your heart be also". "If therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light".
Often in our struggle with our deceptive hearts we take to simply removing things; we begin chopping away. We cut off this and sever that and keep ourselves from going back to those, only to find a large angry void or profuse bleeding emptiness. The most important part of what Jesus is saying is pointing to what comes in after and replaces all that. Once in place and activated thereto one must be willing to come singlemindedly into the light to have their works (designed to lay up those heavenly treasures) reproved. Are they the works from God or again just the works that we would have for ourselves?
We certainly do not earn our way into heaven by what we do. These are not bonus points being stored up in heaven on our account to get us in. While there is mention of there being rewards for us in heaven, that is once we are there and it obviously is not the types of works that we typically would set ourselves out to do to secure these. Man has a corrupted view of both the prize ahead and the actions needing here to take place.
In the regenerate heart a seed now has been planted and continues to grow. It is strengthened by it's struggles against it's former self to the point where it can begin to consider starting to bust out of it's shell to set it's roots deep and it's arms wide into the greater light above. It is disposed by it's nature, created unto good works, heavenly works, abiding fruitfully upon the great vine Jesus, the works of Christ in and on and reaching out through it. This is what lays up treasures for itself in heaven.
There is little use cutting the objectionable things off of ourselves unless first the heart is truly regenerated. This is where the other religions have it wrong because regeneration comes only in Christ Jesus. Might as well staple construction paper appendages on your self amputated stubs if you think that it can be done otherwise.
Next: devotion:Matthew:6:25-34 Do Not Worry