Whatsoever Things Are True
by Dan Coburn
Pastor, Emmanuel Baptist Church
I am afraid we, in the U.S.A., have traded “stuff” here and now, for a true reward later. We have made our retirement program our Heaven. This is just a bad trade if you believe what God says contrasting the two: “for the eye hath not seen nor ear heard nor mind conceived the glorious riches that await us in Christ Jesus. 
Hebrews 13:5 says: “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as you have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee”. This seems like two disjointed thoughts in one verse, or it did for a long time, but it isn’t. It is a stark, beautiful contrast between a worldly and a divine view of life. 
First let’s look at the world view. We are told, if we get a good education we will be ultimately more successful, and therefore happier. Most kids who do go to college do the government grant thing. Schools around here are in the 12-15 thousand dollar a year range, while an Ivy League school is about 30 grand. Most kids who get a four year degree change their major at least once, so spend six years in school, and enter the work force carrying a 100 thousand dollar debt load. They are set up for a let down. “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a mans life does not consist of the abundance of his possessions” (Luke 12:15).
This may all sound like sour grapes from an uneducated man, but it isn’t. I respect a “degree” if for no other reason than someone started something and finished it. But whenever the world tells us something will make us happy or fulfill us, we should literally smell a rat. “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and loose himself or be cast away?”. (Luke 9:25). Someone asked millionaire Bernard Baruch, “How much money does it take for a rich man to be satisfied?” he replied, “just a million more than he has”.
God speaks to us in Deut. 6, vs 10-12, where he warns us that when we enter into the land which He has given us, and live in houses we did not build, and eat food which we did not grow, and when we become fat, we should not forget Him. Ouch! 
Look again at the verse above. We are to let our whole lifestyle, our conduct be free from wanting anything, and be really content. Not just saying we are.  Is this possible? And if so, how?  He answers in the second half of the verse. Because He (Jesus Christ) has said He will never leave us nor forsake us. 
Remember, Heaven is a place, special only in its proximity to Jesus. True Love, Joy, Peace are a byproduct of a relationship with Him, but Jesus is the goal-the prize, here and now, and for eternity. 

Cottonwood, Idaho 83522


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