Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Treasures and Pleasures of the Heart

UV 2891/10000 Treasures and Pleasures of the Heart
For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.
Proverbs 3 v 2
The word of God holds all the treasures and pleasures of the heart. These are the treasures that thief cannot take, moth cannot destroy or rust decay. These are the treasures that we bring out from time to time to meet our various human needs. These are the pleasures for evermore at the right hand of the Lord that satisfy but do not satiate us. When we store it, it is a treasure. When we use it, it becomes a pleasure. When we store the commands, promises, precepts, examples and models of the word of God in our hearts, we obtain productivity of our days, longevity of our lives and peace. If our days are productive, it implies that we will over a period of our lifetime, also become prosperous even though prosperity is not mentioned as part of the ‘package’ God promises in this word. A little later in this same chapter, it also says that when we rely or depend completely on God’s wisdom contained in His word, fear the Lord and shun evil, it will bring health to our bodies and nourishment to our bones. In short, all our ways of living and behaving are godly and pleasant, not ungodly and unpleasant or nasty. This scripture underlines the inter connectivity of spirit, mind and body. A person who is in an intimate relationship with the Lord will never agree with the world view of Hobbes that “life is short, nasty and brutish.” An absence of such a relationship can certainly make life short, nasty and brutish.
The Lord rules us by adding and multiplying while the enemy of our souls rules people by subtracting and dividing. He adds life to our hours and hours to our lives. He adds His wisdom to our lives so that we know how to navigate the complex choices and challenges we face day to day. Proverbs chapter 3 personifies wisdom as a woman and states that His wisdom will bring longevity in her right hand and riches and honour in her left hand. It implies that health and longevity are more significant in our lives than riches and honour.
Christ being the word embodied and wisdom personified, He fills His followers with wisdom. He gives us grace to obey the commands of the Lord, to believe, trust and claim the promises, learn the lessons of life from the examples, good and bad, positive and negative that are spread across the Bible, emulate the heroes of faith. We take shelter or refuge from the world and its troubles and temptations by hiding in Christ and He satisfies us with long life and after that show us His salvation on the eternal plane. Peace and holistic health are our primary needs and priorities while prosperity is a secondary goal.
Christ as a divine heart surgeon works from within our hearts using the variety of tools available in the word and with the help of the Holy Spirit to justify or straighten out our naturally perverse and crooked hearts. Our regeneration is a lifelong process but we need not wait for the end of the process for every moment with Jesus, we enjoy heaven or eternal life which is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. We obtain everything we need and desire in and through Jesus. But Jesus also taught us that life in Him is not about gratification of our desires but it is about denial, about identifying with His own suffering by taking up the cross. It implies that we need to embrace suffering and sacrifice with equal zeal as enjoying the blessings of the Lord. Denying ourselves implies negating all our evil impulses and ending our bad actions, reactions and habits. In so denying ourselves, we are affirming that Christ lives in us, that He rules over us as Lord and King.
Prateep V Philip

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