Heaven Bank Savings

Daily Devotional: Day 56

“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” (Matthew 6:20-21, KJV).

Jesus didn’t come into the world to discourage us from building the human family on earth. In fact, on the contrary, he empowered us to bless the world with the love and truth of God. That said, Jesus wants us to understand priorities.  He wants us to avoid the danger of prioritizing this temporary world over matters of eternity. Every human being is first and foremost a spirit. So, it’ll be a mistake to invest in this passing world to the detriment of your spiritual health. As Jesus stated, “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26). Knowing the distinction between eternal realities and temporal realities is an essential part of walking with God. As in the day of Jesus, so it is today. People can get so caught up with the material things of this world that they forget that they have a higher supernatural calling in Christ Jesus.

In today’s Bible passage, Jesus exhorts us to lay up treasure for ourselves in heaven’s bank. You have an account opened for you in heaven. And Jesus says you have the responsibility to increase your treasure in heaven. You see, our decisions have consequences. Everything we do or fail to do affects our heaven bank account. Your true treasure is in heaven, where there’s no corruption. As you go about your normal life, obeying Jesus and walking in the Father’s Word, you’re building up eternal treasure for yourself. Where your heart is, says a lot about what matters to you. Keep your heart in heaven, your heart’s true home.

Prayer:

Dear Daddy, glory to you for giving us heaven. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to lay up treasure in heaven. Let your Holy Spirit always remind me of heaven. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.

For further study: Luke 12:13-21

Don’t Let Your Past Hold You Back

Daily Devotional: Day 42

“Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way” (James 2:25, KJV).

When the name Rahab is mentioned, it’s often associated with prostitution. But surprisingly, the Letter of James (2:25) and the Letter to the Hebrews (11:31) present Rahab as a model of faith and righteousness. In the Bible, only James and Hebrews associate her with faith and righteousness. How Rahab moved from a prostitute to a model of faith is astonishing. James cites her life as an example of how faith produces corresponding works. Rahab was from Jericho. Like her fellow countrymen, she had heard stories of the mighty deeds of the God of Israel. However, unlike everyone else, she believed in her heart that Israel’s God was the true God worthy of worship. While her countrymen remained afraid and defiant, she put her trust in the God of Israel and surrendered to him. She was, therefore, prepared to leave behind her profession, her homeland, her friends and any gods she may have previously served, to follow Israel to the Promised Land. She subsequently made a deal with the two Israelite spies, that she and her relatives would be spared when Israel came against Jericho (You can read the full account in Joshua chapters 2 and 6). For what Rahab did, the New Testament presents her to Christians as a model of faith and righteousness. Incredible story!

We can draw many lessons from Rahab, but let’s focus on only the following: Her history as a prostitute left her with little to no moral credibility. But, she didn’t let this become an obstacle. She looked past her bad record and saw a future with Israel’s God. With the eyes of faith, she embraced God’s love, forgiveness and protection. By faith, she bid farewell to the old Rahab and welcomed the new Rahab. Fearless, she marched into her new life, free from the bondage of sin, fear and shame. This tells us that your history doesn’t have to define the rest of your life. By faith, go ahead and close certain chapters in your life. Stop worrying about what has happened. You can’t change the past, but you can change what happens from this point. Learn your lessons and look ahead. Lift up your eyes of faith and see a new you in Christ: forgiven, accepted, transformed and restored. In Christ, the Father has opened a new door for you. Walk through it and never look back.

Pray:

Daddy, thank you for the gift of a new life. In Christ, you’ve made me a new creation. I embrace this new life and all the blessings that come with it: freedom from sin, fear and shame; and power to live for righteousness. Thank you for this life. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.

For further study: Luke 19:1-10

Press Forward and Upward

“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before” (Philippians 3:13, KJV).

God wants you to press forward and upward. Paul knew this and told the Christians in Philippi about it. He allowed nothing from his past to hold him back. Unfortunately, there are Christians today who have become prisoners of their past. They’re stuck in their past successes or past failures. The problem is, when you get stuck in your past, you can’t accomplish the will of God for you. You’ll miss out on opportunities in the present. God has made known his will to you. And he wants you to focus on moving forward and upward. Jesus stands before you, calling you forward and upward. Why stay in your past and miss out on today’s blessings? The Word of God says, “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God” (Colossians 3:1). Behold, your life is heavenward! Don’t be distracted by the past and the ungodly affairs of this world. When your eyes are fixed on Jesus, you can’t help but press forward and upward.

Learn from Paul. Forget those things which are behind. Remaining in the past will hinder your progress in the Lord. Today is a new day. Your life must move forward. Each new day brings you closer to meeting Jesus face-to-face. And the best way to prepare to meet the Master is to forget what is behind and press forward. God has placed endless possibilities before you. Don’t waste your time dwelling on what’s behind. Keep the things behind exactly where they belong – behind. Once you do that, you can embrace the joy of saying yes to God’s upward and forward calling. Your past failures are behind you; learn from your mistakes and press forward. Your past successes, too, are behind you; be inspired to press forward.

Confess:

By the grace of God, I am a new creation in Christ. Old things are past, and all things are become new. I let go every hindrance from my past. In the Name of Jesus, I am pressing forward and upward. As I embrace my destiny as a child of God, I shall do exploits unto God’s glory. Amen.

 For further study: Psalm 118:1-24; Hebrews 12:1-2

Pastor Stephen “Steve” Alfred Bilson-Ogoe
Charis Temple (non-denominational church)
Manassas, Virginia, USA