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Monday, August 7, 2006

"Eternal Pleasures and Heavenly Treasures"

"By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh's daughter.  He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time.  He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward" (Hebrews 11:24-26). 

Last night I had difficulty sleeping so I eventually went outside and laid on our over-sized bench swing.  My eyes were soon drawn to the sky. When phones stop ringing, businesses shut down, and it seems that the whole world is sleeping my mind takes on much more of the eternal perspective, especially when looking into the starry sky.

About 3,500 years ago, when Moses was 40 years of age, he made a critical decision to identify with God and His people.  He correctly realized that the pleasures of sin and the treasures of Egypt paled in comparison to the eternal pleasures and indescribable treasures given by God.  Likewise today, and in every generation, all the pleasures and treasures this world has to offer just can't compare with the real deal.

Yet so much of man's behavior can be explained by the pursuit of earthly pleasures and monetary treasures. The pleasure of sin and treasures of "Egypt" remain a great obstacle to faith for the unbeliever and a constant source of temptation for people of faith in all generations.

Moses certainly had the opportunity to enjoy the very best of this world's pleasures, "
the pleasures of sin."  But by faith he placed value on eternal pleasures, which the Psalmist expresses, "You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand" (Psalm 16:11)

Likewise Moses also had the opportunity to experience the very best of this world's treasures, Egypt being the dominant world empire at the time. But in a remarkable way "He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt." (This is an outstanding verse in that Moses lived some 1,400 years before the incarnation of Christ Jesus!)

Jesus draws this contrast in the Sermon on the Mount.  "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven…..For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" (Matthew 6:19,20).*

Let me conclude with the last phrase from the text concerning Moses; it's an outstanding spiritual principle. "He was looking ahead to his reward."  That should be our primary outlook in life as well.  Are you looking ahead to your promised reward today? 

Be encouraged today,

Stephen C. Weber

Brooksyne's prayer:  Jesus, keep my eyes focused on my future eternal reward as I run with perseverance the race marked out for me.  Help me to exercise godly discernment so that I can readily identify opposition from the enemy as a tactic to make me falter or to steer me completely off course.  Just as runners must keep their eyes on the finish line, help me to keep my eyes on the eternal One whose treasures far exceed earthly reward.  By Your grace, I will complete this race and experience the eternal pleasures You eagerly grant to Your faithful ones!  Amen.

All I once held dear, built my life upon,
All this world reveres, and wars to own,
All I once thought gain I have counted loss;
Spent and worthless now, compared to this:

Knowing You, Jesus, knowing You,
There is no greater thing.
You're my all, You're the best,
You're my joy, my righteousness,
And I love You, Lord. *
* "All I Once Held Dear" Kendrick, Graham © 1993 Make Way Music (Admin. in N, S, & C America by Integrity Music, Inc.) CCLI License No. 2005306  Audio version
An online collection of Graham Kendrick music

* (Matthew 6:19,20 full text)

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission; and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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