Everyone loves receiving gifts. Our anticipation about what a gift box contains is usually intensified by the way the gift was wrapped. Wrapping gifts with expensive papers and ornamental bows has become a business in itself, and most department stores will wrap your gift for that “special someone” for an extra fee. We wouldn’t expect something of value to be wrapped in brown paper. We often equate the external appearance with what is within. In other words, we assume the more expensive the external appearance the more value of what lies within. However, in the spiritual realm it is a different story.
In this blog we will discuss a gift given from heaven who was cruelly abused and crucified; yet He lives forevermore and defeated death, hell and the grave – a task only God in flesh could undertake and complete. “It is finished”.
More and more I see a world given to external images and marketing of the gospel with worldly presentation methods. Our Lord chose to make His appearance on this earth over 2,000 years ago in a brown bag or manger, so to speak. In other words the very One that the Magi worshipped as King, arrived in very humble surroundings. The Magi probably gave their gifts to the infant King in ornate treasure boxes. “….when they had opened their treasures they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.” (Matthew 2:11)
A few weeks ago we posted an article on the Pearl of Great Price. I just can’t seem to get away from this idea of jewels. Where is our treasure? If you want to know where your treasure is simply follow your heart and it will lead you to the truth. “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Matthew 6:21) If we have stored treasure in this world it will all be burned up one day. How devastating that will be for people who put all their hope in this life only. Have we spent all of our time and energy on externals such as cars, homes and luxuries without giving thought to the poor? Have we sought for God’s hidden treasures or this world’s treasure?
This past week I noticed over 700 hits on our website from Israel. Every true Christian has a deep love for Israel. God will never forsake His people and one day when the time of the Gentiles is fulfilled the Lord will fulfill His promises to Israel. The patriarch Moses is a wonderful example of someone who forsook all to follow Christ. A non-believer might say “How can this be? How could Moses and Christ be put in the same category?” And yet in the Book of Hebrews we clearly see who Jesus Christ really is, and that He existed as Jehovah God before visiting this earth. “By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward.” (Hebrew 11:24-26)
“By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king, for he endured as seeing him who is invisible.” (Hebrews 11:27) These are powerful scriptures and it only takes faith to believe them. The author of Hebrews says that Moses suffered the reproach of Christ. That is a revelatory word. Moses left everything because He heard the voice of God, and we are told here that the voice in the burning bush was Christ manifested in fire. Later Jehovah God would be manifested in human flesh. To come to know Christ we must come to a cross roads in life. Literally the Cross of Calvary stands at the intersection. Will we turn from him as the Roman soldiers did, throwing dice to possess his robe, or will we turn to Him with all of our heart, seeing Him as the King of Glory who suffered so much abuse in human flesh. On that momentous day over 2,000 years ago there was no gift wrapping left. He was so mangled that “many were astonished at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men.” (Isaiah 52:14) He who knew no sin left glory, took on the form of a man, and literally put Himself in prison so that we could be set free. Can anyone deny the love of God for man whom He created?
He is our treasure. There are treasures of wisdom and knowledge hidden only in Christ (Colossians 2:3). There are gifts that our Lord Jesus has poured out upon those who choose to receive Him. The gift of the Holy Ghost is the greatest of all. But without the gift of repentance one cannot receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. All of these treasures are hidden in Christ, but He has freely given to those who seek them out as choice silver. (Proverbs 2:4)
In these chaotic days we are living men’s hearts are failing them for fear of things coming upon the earth. Everything not rooted and grounded in Christ Jesus our Lord will be shaken. But we don’t need to be shaken. The prophet Isaiah (33:6) said, “And wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, and strength of salvation: the fear of the Lord is his treasure.” “
“Better is little with the fear of the Lord, than great treasure and trouble therewith.” (Proverbs 15:16)
Simon the Sorcerer made a serious error. He saw the power of the Holy Ghost and coveted it for himself , but thought it was something that could be bought with silver and gold. “But Peter said unto him, thy money perish with thee, because thou has thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.” (Acts 8:20)
There has always been only One Lord and One God and this beautiful revelation was given to the Jews in Deuteronomy 9:4 “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord.” and confirmed in Ephesians 4:5, “One Lord, one faith, one baptism.”
“Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine.” (Exodus 19:5)
“For the Lord hath chosen Jacob unto himself, and Israel for his peculiar treasure.” (Psalm 135:4)
“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.” (2 Corinthians 4:7) Just as our Lord Jesus laid aside the glories of heaven, so we as earthen vessels have laid aside any fleshly glory to reflect only the glory of God. We must be converted as a little child, without any pretense or external ornamentation for man looks on the outer appearance but God looks on the heart.