Treasure Boxes

Years ago, I gave each of our grandchildren treasure boxes. The first one was given to our oldest grandchild, Ansley, to keep letters I had written to her. The first letter was written soon after she was born, recording the anticipation of her birth, family, and friends who were present when she was born and other details. In addition, I wrote things that the Lord put in my heart for her to read later. Letters were written for each birthday for several years until three sisters were born. I kept each one from the time they were three months old until they began kindergarten and during the summer months two days a week while Lee worked as a physical therapist. I did not have time afterward to write letters to the other grandchildren, but they all have the treasure boxes for storing things we studied together.

In them are workbooks that we used for our Summer of Psalms used for studying God’s Word over a fourteen-year period, plus awards they received for memory work, a CD of the music we sang, and crafts we used for activities. (To our one grandson we gave a solid red box.) In the last two years, we have given them copies of some of our published books. We no longer study together, but they have these treasures to review and remember what they learned when they were younger; hopefully to share with their own children and grandchildren. Our books may be of more interest to them when they are older. Our youngest, Emma, will be sixteen in March.These boxes serve as a place for them to keep the sources from which they have learned of God and of heaven ~ those eternal things that never fade or pass away. And should they forget and wander from the paths of their childhood, they can return and rediscover the truths of life that point them in the right way, along with the study Bibles we gave them.

“A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.” Ezekiel 36:26

I believe the idea for the boxes was a gift from God our heavenly Father and a replica of the new heart He gives us as His children. He has designed them as a place for His love, joy, and peace, His truth, wisdom, knowledge, and grace; for His songs and memories of growing up in Christ. Since the new heart belongs wholly to Him, He has the freedom to add whatever and whenever He wants. Unlike the earthly boxes I gave my grandchildren, He has the key to each of His. He opens and closes, reveals and adds His own heavenly treasures according to His heart and will.

“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 

There have been times I wished I had had these treasures for my children, but I did not have the new heart to receive these blessings when they were young. Our heavenly Father has no grandchildren but gives His treasures to those He desired and sired for His own.

“Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” 1 John 1:2

Gracious Father, how blessed we are that you call us your own; that we belong to you both by Creation and Redemption. Continue to reveal your grace and glory, fill us continually with your Holy Spirit of truth, wisdom, and knowledge, as you are preparing us to live with you forever. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Fran

Related Poem: God’s Beloved Son
image:Google

Humility and Faith ~ Chapter 9

Who of us, born of flesh and blood, could honestly say that we don’t care what other people think of us? There is a healthy attitude of how we ought to appear to others as far as our manner and conduct. Our desire should be to reflect the image of Christ. In this chapter of Andrew Murray’s Humility (PDF) he is speaking of the pride of man that seeks the honor and glory of men, instead of the glory of God. This concern is not for what God thinks or approves, but what makes us look good to other people, winning their honor and praise. He even goes so far as to say that a lot of our service in the church is good, but done for the wrong purpose.

Again, he gets to the point of pride, especially as it concerns our faith.

True faith cannot manifest itself where there is pride, but is birthed in humility; and so, does it live and grow. The higher Christian life that is spoken of here is out of reach to those who continue in their pride. He uses the illustration of this life as “compared to objects in a shop window — one can see them clearly and yet could not reach them. If told to stretch out his hand and take, a man would answer, “I cannot; there is a thick pane of plate glass between me and them.” Likewise, Christians may clearly see the blessed promises of perfect peace and rest, of overflowing love and joy, of abiding communion and fruitfulness, yet feel that there is something in-between hindering the true possession.”   Pride keeps us from reaching or grasping the blessings that God has provided for us in Christ.

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In Jesus’ words, “How can ye believe which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?”  He is showing the limitations of faith while we are seeking honor from other people instead of God.

Faith is described as what grace bestows in our dependency.Humility is simply the disposition which prepares the soul for living on trust. Even the most secret breathing of pride —in self-seeking, self-will, self-confidence, or self-exaltation—is just the strengthening of that self which cannot enter into the Kingdom or possess the things of the Kingdom, because it refuses to allow God to be what He is and must be—the all in all.”

Seeking to See
Can we, without humility,  even see what is in the window?  Nicodemus came to Jesus privately because he had heard Him speaking of the kingdom.  He was looking for something from Jesus.  Jesus told Nicodemus that he had to be born again to even see the kingdom. We all must be born of the Spirit, receiving the new heart, spirit, and life of Christ with new eyes to see Christ and the kingdom.

 “Faith is the organ or sense for the perception and apprehension of the heavenly world and its blessings. As long as we take glory from one another, as long as we jealously guard the glory of this life, we cannot receive the glory that comes from God. Salvation comes through a cross and a crucified Christ. Salvation is the fellowship with the crucified Christ in the Spirit of His cross. The cross, the death, and the grave, into which Jesus humbled Himself, were His path to the glory of God. And they are our path.

 As we learned in previous chapters the nature of humility in us is the same as in Jesus. He told His disciples that they would have to take up their own crosses daily if they would follow Him (Luke 9:23).   The reality of His humility in us brings us in faith and repentance to sacrifice all that we are and have for the name of Christ and His kingdom.
He is the pearl of great price; which when we find will sell everything else.  Humility is the only means of seeing Him; and it is the means whereby we not only see, but we receive and enjoy the treasures that are stored and displayed in Him now and for eternity.

 “Let us gladly accept whatever can humble us before God or men — this alone is the path to the glory of God.”

 “Brethren ! nothing can cure you of the desire to receive honor from men, or of the sensitivity and pain and anger which come when it is not given, except giving yourself to seek glory of the all-glorious God to be everything to you. You will be freed from the glory of men and of self, and be content and glad to be nothing. Out of this nothingness you will grow strong in faith, giving glory to God. You will find that the deeper you sink in humility before Him, the nearer He is to fulfill every desire of your faith.”

“That the trial of your faith,
being much more precious than of gold that perisheth,
though it be tried with fire,

might be found unto praise and honour and glory
at the appearing of Jesus Christ:”

1 Peter 1:7

Dear Father in heaven, only you know our need. Open our eyes to see Christ, give us a new vision of the treasures of heaven which you have prepared for those who love you. Enable us to seek your honor only ~ for your glory and our joy.
“Of your great goodness make known to me and take from my heart every kind and form and degree of pride; and awaken in me the deepest depth and truth of that humility which can make me capable of your light and your Holy Spirit.  In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.