Wednesday, January 14, 2015


After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.”  (Gen.15:1)

As a young boy, one of my favorite things to do was to read comic books.  Inside, there would be a few pages of advertisements offering the neatest things imaginable—onion gum, soap that turned your skin black, stink bombs—stuff like that.  The ads made the products sound so good.  Adjectives like “life size,” “gigantic,” “sure to frighten,” and so forth tantalized my imagination.  When I wanted to order some of these things, my father would say, “No!  It’s just junk!”  What did he know?  I saw it in a book!  Finally, I pestered him until he let me send in my hard-earned money from mowing lawns, and I waited with great expectation, until the mail carrier finally brought the package.  Eagerly, I tore into the box, and do you know what it was?  A bunch of junk!  What I thought would be treasure turned out to be trash, and the people who sold this stuff were laughing all the way to the bank. 

That is much like the Devil does when we won’t believe our Heavenly Father and seek earth’s trash rather than eternity’s treasure.  Satan knows how to advertise his pleasures—making them sparkle and shine.  God says, “It’s junk!  You may have fun playing with it awhile, but you’ll quickly tire of it.  If you will just be patient and see the reward I have for you!  Trust me!”

Abraham—or Abram as he was called at the time—was a man who decided not to accept the world’s cheap substitutes, but to look to God for real reward.  His nephew Lot had been sucked into Sodom—that had already cost him much (read Gen.14), and he would soon pay a horrible price.  Abraham refused the wealth offered from the wicked King of Sodom (Gen.14:22-23).  He rejected the treasures tarnished by the hands of a vile ruler.  All he had in his pocket was God’s IOU—but that was enough for him.  As the story unfolds in Genesis 15, God promises to come through and not only bestow a reward, but BE his reward!  Ultimately, only God can satisfy the deepest need of our heart.  We were designed with a God-shaped hole in our soul that only He can fill.  Everything else leaves us empty and longing for more.

Make no mistake—it costs to serve God.  Abraham had given up his home and moved out of his comfort zone to travel into an unknown future in response to God’s call.  He had yielded his rights in a property dispute with Lot.  Yes, it costs to serve God, but it costs so much more not to do so, and it is actually a faith investment that will pay rich dividends later.  Abraham became heir of the righteousness required to gain Heaven.  It is the righteousness of faith—and that is the only way to obtain it.  All that God is and has is available by placing your trust in Christ.  In contrast, think of how Jesus described Hell as Gehenna—the garbage dump outside the Holy City of Jerusalem.  So, the question is—do you want treasure or trash?

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