Friday, July 3, 2009

What is Your Treasure?

Do you ever find yourself repenting of sin only to be met with another sin immediately following your act of repentance? Or do you ever wonder why you cannot shake that one particular sin that seems to rise up in you?

I can relate to that.

I hate sin. I hate that I do it. I hate when it is done against me. And I especially hate when I do it even when I know that I shouldn’t. John Piper has been preaching through the book of John for a little while now, and as I listened to part one of this sermon series on John 3:16 I was struck by this phrase:

“The reason we sin is because we have other treasures besides Jesus.”

It sounds so simple, yet it is so profound. This statement struck me immediately. I sin because I treasure other things instead of treasuring the greatest treasure of all—Jesus. Every day there are countless things beckoning me to seek my treasure in them, rather than the Savior. And the greatest force that seeks to reign in my soul is me. Ultimately I treasure Courtney over Jesus.

It is a war.

The reason we speak harshly to our husbands and family is because we see ourselves as the most important being in the universe. The reason we gossip is because we treasure acceptance and futile knowledge over Jesus.

If Jesus were my treasure then I would be freed to radically love and serve him because I would see the infinite worth of the Savior and the utter depravity of myself in light of him. I wouldn’t need to lash out at my husband or get angry at the other drivers on the freeway.

Understanding this truth about ourselves radicalizes the way we witness as well. The fundamental problem with people is not that they do bad things, although it is true that we all do bad things. It is that they treasure other things more than Jesus. People commit adultery because they treasure lust and instant gratification more than Jesus. People get high because they treasure fleeting pleasures more than Jesus. When we are giving the Good News to people we must get to the heart of the matter. You do these things because you love them. You treasure them. And you treasure them because your heart is evil and longs for them. What you need is a new heart that will make you long for the greatest Treasure of all—Jesus Christ. He is more valuable and more satisfying than any temporal pleasure can bring.

I was deeply convicted by Pastor John’s statement. I sin because I treasure other things besides Jesus. So, what are you treasuring? Is it the Christ? Or is it something else that will never satisfy your soul.

Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.—Luke 12:33-34


whocanfind? said...

Wow! I am really living what you're writing here. God has really been magnifying and chiseling away at the things in our family that we treasure other than Him. Mark Driscoll has a sermon on worldliness that is choice! I highly recommend it. I think it's the Trial series. He spoke of how the worldly things that we treasure, they become "heaven" to us. It made so much sense to me. When I turned on the television last night and watched the way they depicted a car, a candy bar, a vacation spot, I could point at each one and say, "They're trying to make this look like heaven to me".

My husband and I were talking about this, about how when we long for, think about, dwell on, and treasure created things, we think about what we could do with them, how we could enjoy or savor them, how our life would be better with them. What if we thought that way about Jesus? Dreaming about how the gospel could and is transforming lives is a much better practice than dreaming about the perfect home or that getaway vacation. You can imagine the freedom that the Jesus will bring to a friend's life, how He could heal a marriage, strengthen a body, empower a people, how Jesus could give peace to a friend in turmoil. You could dwell on what He IS doing, growing a city to love Him, transforming the heart of a friend, forgiving me of my sin so I don't live in shame anymore. We're just now starting to sit and imagine all that God could do and will do with and among His people. It's exciting, and it keeps our heart too busy with Jesus to meddle with fleeting treasures. Although, I'm still where you are, learning and fighting...
Thanks for listening. I know I don't write succinctly, but I hope you hear where I'm coming from. I have three young children at home and feel like I have lost my brain most times when it comes to discussing things deeper than diaper duty and dish washing.
And your post was great! I started reading when someone recommended your "recovering feminist" (I think) post, and since then, you're on my google reader list. Congratulations on the marriage too!

cdt said...

Hi Andrea! Thank you so much for reading and commenting. You make perfect sense and I totally resonate with your thoughts on thinking about what Jesus is doing instead of what fleeting earthly treasures can do for us. My husband and I talk about the exact same things! You write very clearly.

I am so encouraged that you read my blog, and I am even more encouraged that you spend your life changing diapers and serving your husband. May God give you great grace to impart the truths of the Gospel to these little ones. And may they rise up and call you blessed! You are living a great calling, sister! I admire you greatly for it!

Thanks again for reading. You made my day!


debt said...

Great post, Courtney!! Very challenging. Thanks!! I need that!

cdt said...

Thanks, Momma! Love you!