“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you” (1 Peter 1:3-4).
During a remodel of a newly purchased home, a father helped his daughter remove a lot of old stuff from the garage and house spending a few weeks hauling pickup loads to the landfill so the remodeling could get underway. After about three weeks, the former owner called and asked to come by because he had left some things behind in the garage. There was little that remained and the new owners were unsure what would have been left of any value. To their surprise the former owner had hidden more than $60,000 in cash and another $20,000 in gold coins in some old paint cans. A search of the landfill was not a success.
The Egyptians have taught us that earthly treasure is only an object of a later times discovery. In the 1930’s many American learned the awful truth of the value of material things when the stock market crashed and the nation was plunged into a great financial depression. Fortunes gain today can be lost in the twinkling of an eye the next day. One of the greatest myths in advertising is a “life time” warranty because it remains dependent upon the whims of economy and the state of the nation. The news is filled with stories of men and women working 30 years for a pension plan and then finds the coffer empty because of the squandering of greedy executives. One certainty of this world is the uncertainty of what will take place tomorrow.
Jesus exhorted His disciples to have a different view of worldly possessions. There is the frantic search of what to eat, drink and put on the body and life is filled with the worries and anxieties brought about by the produce of our own demise – possessions. “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing” (Matthew 6:25)? His point is clear: life is more than what we spend our lives gaining. There is a greater reward than the rusting treasures of this life. Earlier the Lord had said, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-21). We spend all our lives piling up possessions of this life and then we die and leave it to whom? Solomon understood this lesson. “Then I hated all my labor in which I had toiled under the sun, because I must leave it to the man who will come after me. And who knows whether he will be wise or a fool? Yet he will rule over all my labor in which I toiled and in which I have shown myself wise under the sun. This also is vanity” (Ecclesiastes 2:18-19).
Buying a brand new car is the first step to its final decay. Building new homes is a pursuit consuming life to maintain, fix, repair, protect, paint, replace and worry about for years. The bicycle with a new coat of paint turns to rust. Even our bodies that we spend thousands of dollars to look young and beautiful still grow old and wrinkled and one day return to the dust from whence it came. “Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look on the earth beneath. For the heavens will vanish away like smoke, the earth will grow old like a garment, and those who dwell in it will die in like manner; but My salvation will be forever, and My righteousness will not be abolished” (Isaiah 51:6).
The great joy of being a child of God is knowing that while all that we see about us is perishable the promise of eternal life is imperishable. This comes from a proper viewpoint of the life now and the life to come. Peter’s admonition to the “pilgrims of the Dispersion” (1 Peter 1:1) was to think about the inheritance promised that was incorruptible and could not be defiled and would not fade away. It is impossible for God to lie (Titus 1:2) and the promise He made is “by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast” (Hebrews 6:17-19). Nothing man will do can compare to the promise given by the Father.
There should be no doubt in the promise of God. Our lives should be focused not on the “I don’t know” of salvation but the blessed assurance of the promise given that Heaven is ours. “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God” (1 John 5:13). A crown of life awaits the children of God that will not fade nor rust. The promise of eternal life is the promised held in trust by the blood of Jesus Christ to those who abide in Him. I am saved. I am redeemed. I live for the King of Kings and Lord of Lords and long for the day He returns so that I may see His face and dwell in His presence throughout the eternal ages.