In the Gospel of Mark, a man comes running to Jesus,
kneels down before Him and asks,
“What must I do to get to heaven?” Jesus answers, “You know the commandments, don’t kill, don’t commit adultery, don’t steal, don’t lie,
always respect your Father and your Mother.”
The man replies, “Teacher, I’ve never broken a single one of those laws.”
Scripture tells us that Jesus felt genuine love for this man.
He said to him,
“You only lack one thing, go and sell all that you have
and give the money to the poor,
and you shall have treasure in heaven.”
A difficult thing was required of the man.
A difficult thing is also required of you and me.
So then what is required?
Would we give up our homes
in order for a poor family to have a place to live?
Would we give up our annual vacation
in order to give our employer
the opportunity to give
our vacation pay
to a person who has no employment?
Would we give up our civil rights
to someone who has none,
such as an illegal immigrant?
Jesus told his disciples,
“It is easier, easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle
than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven?
The disciple, in turn, exclaimed,
“Then who can enter and be saved
if a rich man cannot?”
Who is a rich man? What makes him rich?
Jesus suggests that the things we treasure most
are the things that make us rich.
Those things are our homes,
our parents, our brothers and sisters,
our children and our property.
Are we willing to give up those things
for the privilege of entering heaven?
Jesus tells us we will be rewarded one hundred times over
with the same things we willingly gave away.
We do this for the love of God
and for the privilege
of being able to share with others
the Good News of the Gospel.
In addition to receiving such abundant rewards,
we will also receive persecutions.
In spite of them, in the world to come
we shall have eternal life.
The Christian walk has many twists and turns.
What things then, are to be desired?
God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac, as a burnt offering.
Abraham was willing to obey.
In Genesis 22 the angel of the Lord told Abraham
to stop and not hurt the boy.
“For I know that God is first in your life.
You have not even withheld your beloved son …..”
Is God first in my life?
Is He first in yours?
Will God wait for us
as we take these faltering steps
to become closer to Him?
How many times will God forgive us
when we don’t quite measure up?
I should have made that phone call.
You should have stopped to visit that person.
Why didn’t I send that card?
Why did you refuse when you were asked to serve
on a committee at church?
You said, “Ask someone else”.
Someone else was asked
and someone served God
in the place that had been offered to you.
Do you sometimes wonder
if that person will take your place
at the gates of heaven?
Years ago I had a small hobby business,
photographing objects of nature
and creating note cards, greeting cards,
and pictures for framing.
I love to take pictures.
Willing subjects are everywhere.
…. sunsets, rivers, trees and birds.
Old barns tell a story of their own.
Wonderful treasures are all around us
everywhere we look
every day of our lives.
In searching for a name for my business,
the name “Treasures” came to mind.
a line in the Gospel of Matthew seemed appropriate.
“Where your treasure is,
there will your heart be also.”
Did you know that your heart is there also?
Your heart is the very thing that gives you life.
Is your heart and treasure with Jesus?
Photographs By Mary Anne Tuck