The Review and Herald

422/1902

January 24, 1888

The Treasure and the Heart

EGW

“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” RH January 24, 1888, par. 1

Mark these words of the Great Teacher, who spake as never man spake. He sets before you the course to pursue if you would serve your best interests in this life, and lay up for yourselves an eternal treasure. “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth.” There is danger of losing all in the pursuit of worldly gain; for in the feverish eagerness for earthly treasure, higher interests are forgotten. The care and perplexity that are involved in laying up treasures upon the earth, leave no time or desire to estimate the value of eternal riches. The glory of the world to come is eclipsed by the corruptible things of earth. “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Your thoughts, your plans, your motives, will all have an earthly mold, and your soul will be defiled with covetousness and selfishness. “What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” The day is coming when the idols of silver and gold will be cast to the moles and to the bats, and the rich men will weep and howl for the miseries that shall come upon them. RH January 24, 1888, par. 2

Christ entreats, “Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven.” This work of transferring your possessions to the world above, is worthy of all your best energies. It is of the highest importance, and involves your eternal interests. That which you bestow in the cause of God is not lost. All that is given for the salvation of souls and the glory of God, is invested in the most successful enterprise in this life and in the life to come. Your talents of gold and silver, if given to the exchangers, are gaining continually in value, which will be registered to your account in the kingdom of heaven. You are to be the recipients of the eternal wealth that has increased in the hands of the exchangers. In giving to the work of God, you are laying up for yourselves treasures in heaven. All that you lay up above is secure from disaster and loss, and is increasing to an eternal, an enduring substance. RH January 24, 1888, par. 3

It should be your determined purpose to bring every power of your being into the service of Christ. Why, his service is profitable for the life that now is, and for that which is to come. If your thoughts, your plans, your purposes, are all directed toward the accumulation of the things of earth, your anxiety, your study, your interests, will all be centered upon the world. The heavenly attractions will lose their beauty. The glories of the eternal world will cease to have the force of reality to you. Your heart will be with your treasure, and every faculty of your mind will be so concentrated on the work you have chosen, that you will not heed the warnings and entreaties of the word and Spirit of God. You will have no time to devote to the study of the Scriptures and to earnest prayer that you may escape the snares of Satan, and render intelligent obedience to your Heavenly Father. RH January 24, 1888, par. 4

Satan has nets and snares, like the snares of the fowler, all prepared to entrap souls. It is his studied purpose that men shall employ their God-given powers for selfish ends rather than yield them to glorify God. God would have men engage in a work that will bring them peace and joy, and will render them eternal profits; but Satan wants us to concentrate our efforts for that which profiteth not, for things that perish with the using. The service of Satan is one of care, perplexity, anxiety, and wearing labor, and the treasure men toil to accumulate on earth is only for a season. The greatest caution is exercised in the worldly investment of means, that the expenditure may yield a good profit; but in things of eternal concern the utmost indifference is displayed. On that the great interests of the world to come were appreciated! Why is it that men are so unconcerned about the salvation of the soul when it was purchased at such cost by the Son of God? RH January 24, 1888, par. 5

The heart of man may be the abode of the Holy Spirit. The peace of Christ that passeth understanding may rest in your soul, and the transforming power of his grace may work in your life, and fit you for the courts of glory. But if brain and nerve and muscle are all employed in the service of self, you are not making God and heaven the first consideration of your life. It is impossible to be weaving the graces of Christ into your character while you are putting all your energies on the side of the world. You may be successful in heaping up treasure on the earth, for the glory of self; but “where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Eternal considerations will be made of secondary importance. You may take part in the outward forms of worship; but your service will be an abomination to the God of heaven. You cannot serve God and mammon. You will either yield your heart and put your will on the side of God, or you will give your energies to the service of the world. God will accept no half-hearted service. RH January 24, 1888, par. 6

“The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.” If the eye is single, if it is directed heavenward, the light of heaven will fill the soul, and earthly things will appear insignificant and uninviting. The purpose of the heart will be changed, and the admonition of Jesus will be heeded. You will lay up your treasure in heaven. Your thoughts will be fixed upon the great rewards of eternity. All your plans will be made in reference to the future, immortal life. You will be drawn toward your treasure. You will not study your worldly interest; but in all your pursuits the silent inquiry will be, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” Bible religion will be woven into your daily life. RH January 24, 1888, par. 7

The true Christian does not allow any earthly consideration to come in between his soul and God. The commandment of God wields an authoritative influence over his affections and actions. If every one seeking the kingdom of God and his righteousness would be always ready to work the works of Christ, how much easier would become the path to heaven. The blessings of God would flow into the soul, and the praises of the Lord would be on your lips continually. You would then serve God from principle. Your feelings might not always be of a joyous nature; clouds would at times shadow the horizon of your experience; but the Christian's hope does not rest upon the sandy foundation of feeling. Those who act from principle, will behold the glory of God beyond the shadows, and rest upon the sure word of promise. They will not be deterred from honoring God, however dark the way may seem. Adversity and trial will only give them an opportunity to show the sincerity of their faith and love. When depression settles upon the soul, it is no evidence that God had changed. He is “the same yesterday, and today, and forever.” You are sure of the favor of God when you are sensible of the beams of the Sun of Righteousness; but if the clouds sweep over your soul, you must not feel that you are forsaken. Your faith must pierce the gloom. Your eye must be single, and your whole body shall be full of light. The riches of the grace of Christ must be kept before the mind. Treasure up the lessons that his love provides. Let your faith be like Job's that you may declare, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him.” Lay hold on the promises of your Heavenly Father, and remember his former dealing with you, and with his servants; for “all things work together for good to them that love God.” RH January 24, 1888, par. 8

The most trying experiences in the Christian's life may be the most blessed. The special providences of the dark hours may encourage the soul in future attacks of Satan, and equip the servant of God to stand in fiery trials. The trial of your faith is more precious than gold. You must have that abiding confidence in God that is not disturbed by the temptations and arguments of the deceiver. Take the Lord at his word. You must study the promises, and appropriate them as you have need. “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Become rooted and grounded in the word, and then you will not renounce the important truths for this time, which are to exert a sanctifying influence upon your life and character. RH January 24, 1888, par. 9

It is faith that familiarizes the soul with the existence and presence of God; and when we live with an eye single to his glory, we discern more and more the beauty of his character. Our souls become strong in spiritual power; for we are breathing the atmosphere of heaven, and realizing that God is at our right hand, that we shall not be moved. Faith sees that God witnesses every word and action, and that every thing is manifest to Him with whom we have to do. We should live as in the presence of the infinite One. RH January 24, 1888, par. 10

“God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son,” that the lost might be reclaimed. The sacrifice and mediation of Christ has brought the repentant soul into sacred relations with the Eternal Father. He who has tasted and found that the Lord is good, cannot bear the thought of following in the path of transgression. It is pain to him to violate the law of that God who has so loved him. He avails himself of the help which God has promised, ceases his disobedience, flees to Christ, and, through faith in his blood receives remission of sin. The divine hand is reached to the aid of every repentant soul. Divine wisdom will order the steps of those who put their trust in the Lord. Divine love will encircle them, and they will realize the presence of the Comforter, the Holy Spirit. RH January 24, 1888, par. 11

If the eye is single to the glory of God, the treasure will be laid up above, safe from all corruption or loss; and “where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Jesus will be the pattern that you will seek to imitate. The law of the Lord will be your delight, and at the day of final reckoning you will hear the glad words, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” RH January 24, 1888, par. 12