Approaching Sunday

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Who has your Heart?

Colossians  2:3 “in whom are hidden all treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”

The first day of class at most universities is called “syllabus day,” because professors do not usually start any lessons, but rather they unpack what the class will look like for the semester. However, for my economics class, it was a different story altogether. The professor simply wrote on the board this principle, “wherever you invest your money is where your heart is,” and then left. Whatever I invest money in informs others of my heart's bent. Matthew 12:34 adds dynamics to this thought by replacing money with words. In his clash with the Pharisees, Jesus makes plain that one’s words will always reflect their heart- “out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.”

Here we arrive at a crossroads of motive. Both the economic principle and Jesus’ very words point to a common stumbling block in the life of every Christian- their own hearts. The prophet Jeremiah warns us of the very real, and very deceitful force within our souls (Jer. 17:9). “What now, then?” “If my heart is deceitful, then what is the solution?” “What does this have to do with the treasures that are hidden in Christ?” Well, dear reader, let us look to the specific words that the Apostle Paul uses. The late R.C. Sproul was a champion of the importance of using the right words and the Apostle Paul is no different. Treasure- it is exactly what you think it is. It’s the treasure hinted at on the back of the Declaration of Independence. It is that kind of treasure.

Yet, as Paul clarifies, it is not treasure found in the form of gold and priceless artifacts, but in wisdom and knowledge.  You may be saying to yourself, “that’s anticlimactic.” However, the beauty of this treasure is made ever sweeter when one understands it’s purpose! Matthew Henry provides us with insight- “the treasures of wisdom [and knowledge] are not hidden from us but for us.” How wonderful is the reality that the greatest treasure, the wisdom and knowledge of Christ is not hidden from us, but hidden for us! This treasure has not been sealed away from greedy robbers, who would pillage and profit for selfish gain. No! This treasure has been unsealed by Holy Spirit and been made accessible for the Christian to peruse, to investigate, to discover, to invest in and- dare I say- obsess over! This is the treasure of treasures! Greater than the wealthiest of Pharaohs! Greater than the mythical El Dorado! All other treasures are empty- all other treasures pale in comparison to this treasure! Yes, all other treasures are not worth the financial investment and emotional obsession!

            Your faith, Christian, is not one that simply can be thought of as a train-ticket; granted at justification and shelved until its usage for boarding the heaven-bound train. J.I. Packer states it plainly, “What aim should we set ourselves in life? To know God” (Knowing God, p. 33). So we draw from this treasure daily as we seek to grow in our knowledge of God. We draw from this treasure- the treasure hidden in Christ, as one who obsesses over worldly treasure! Recall Jesus’ rebuke of the Pharisees, Believer! Remember the economic principle written on the board.

            Do your words hint at a heart so captivated by your Savior? Would your bank account be proof of a fervent pursuit for the things of the Lord? Do you truly seek Jesus till you have found him- remembering the promise that when we seek Him with all our hearts, we shall find him? (Jer. 29:13). This treasure has been made available to you- the question then remains, do you really want it?

Posted by Joel Arcieri with

Christ in You

I admire Paul’s selflessness. He radiates an “all I have is Christ” attitude and mindset. He begins this passage (Colossians 1:24-29) explaining how it brings him joy to suffer for Jesus’s sake because he accepts and appreciates the responsibility God has given him to proclaim the gospel. In this portion of the letter, he clarifies the need for Christians to be serious about ministry as he points the readers to the revealed mystery of God’s glory: Jesus Christ lives within them.

 Some people need to know “how” or “what” in a situation, but I’m a “why” person. I can face a lot of challenges if I understand why I have to do something. I’m thankful for Paul’s words here because he explains why we must be on fire for the gospel: Jesus is in us and empowers us to do so. As Paul explains in verses 28-29, “we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.”

 As Paul reveals one mystery, a few other mysteries crop up, such as what do we do with this portion of Jesus within us and how does Jesus work within us? We aren’t told what to do to share Jesus with others. There isn’t a sample manuscript for sharing the gospel or a flashy “5 Steps to Convert Someone to Christ” article in the New Testament. We aren’t told how Jesus dwells inside of us. Is there a physical particle? Is he in our brain?  I know that all sounds crazy, but at least we know why. We are to spend our energy and time allowing Jesus to work within us. How and what we do to share this gift of the gospel is part of our autonomy in Christ, but know that no matter what or how you choose to use your God-given spiritual gifts, you are assured of the hope of glory, or Jesus Christ working within your efforts.

Posted by Laura Rogers with

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