The fruit of faithfulness is rooted in Christ and nourished through his Word. It seeks to store up treasures in heaven and to generously share this treasure with others. Are we treasure savers or sowers?
“I pray that your partnership with us in the faith may be effective in deepening your understanding of every good thing we share for the sake of Christ. (Philemon 6]
In Christ, we store up heavenly treasures. They are “good things” God gives us. But are these good things something we take ownership in or meant to share with others?
Earthly treasures are meant to be kept. They are God’s gifts to us. The challenge is that our sinful nature not only takes ownership of earthly treasures, but we take credit for them as well.
My neighbor has lots of treasures. An RV is parked in his driveway. A boat on a trailer is parked in his backyard patio. Motorcycles, an ATV, golf clubs, fishing rods, and hunting rifles are all stored in his oversized garage. My neighbor lives for the weekend. He loves to take full advantage of the glorious summer days in the Idaho mountains.
I confess there are times when I envy his treasures. Then I remind myself which is greater – to store up treasures on earth or treasures in heaven?
Jesus told the rich man that if he wanted to be right with God that he must be perfect. He needed to sell everything he had and give it to the poor. When he did that, he will be storing up treasures in heaven. Perfection is an impossible standard to meet along with being right with God based on our own efforts. We need Christ for our salvation and we rely on God for every good gift.
The rich man could not give away everything he owned, because he did not understand that God was the rightful owner of everything he possessed.
It’s impossible to receive “every good thing” God gives us without faith.
Faith receives understanding. All things God gives us – both earthly and spiritual treasures – are meant to be shared. They are not our own. In his goodness and mercy, God allows us to receive the good things on earth. But his gifts are meant to be shared. If we become too possessive, it can affect our relationship with God.
When believers deepen their understanding of the heavenly treasures God gives us, faith responds by sharing these gifts with others.
One of the greatest treasures is the assurance and confidence in knowing that our sins are fully forgiven RIGHT NOW! Another treasure is that our citizenship in heaven is 100% secure. God declares us “not guilty” because of what Christ has already done for us on the cross. These are amazing treasures in heaven that God gives to us to share with others.
Jesus called upon the rich man to give away all his treasures and believers ought to do the same. This does not necessarily mean earthly treasures, but the heavenly treasures we receive in Christ. We share the truth, hope, love, peace, and joy that we have in Christ… “for the sake of Christ.”
We share these treasures by using our tongue – by verbally proclaiming God’s heavenly treasures to others.
In Christ, believers are a light upon a hill and should not hide it.
In Christ, believers are salt and should not lose their saltiness.
His presence creates light within us. His salt is what makes believers salty.
These are heavenly treasures within us and Christ is calling upon us to share these treasures around us.
Sometimes believers make the mistake that being light and salt is evangelism, but that’s not true. Being salt and light sets the stage for proclaiming the gospel. It builds bridges. It turns on the spotlight.
Evangelism is the verbal proclamation of the gospel. His Word creates faith, not our acts of kindness or displays of good works.
Jesus is the gospel. He is the treasure. What he has done – his free gift to all people – is meant to be generously shared with the world.
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