Staying Faithful to Our Treasure in Jesus Christ
Guard the treasure.
“Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.” (2 Timothy 1:14, NIV)
- The Greek word translated “good deposit” means something that is beautiful, precious, magnificent. The NAS translation uses the word “treasure.” Guard the treasure.
- From the context, we can see that the treasure is the sound teaching of the gospel wrapped up in Jesus Christ. The truth about Jesus is treasure. Guard that treasure.
The Ephesian treasure chest
- Two words described Ephesus—prominent and obsessed. It was a prominent place because of its location and population. It was obsessed as a center for spiritualism in the Roman world filled with magic, psychics, astrologers, and palm readers. The people had a huge fear of evil powers that could make their life miserable. Anything they could count on to defeat the enemy so they could live a “successful” life was worth a try.
- For the Ephesians, life was all about who had power. And, their identity came from their power sources. That was reflected in their treasure chests. They found out that their own treasure chest was worthless compared to what Paul offered them.
God’s treasure chest is Jesus Christ.
- Paul spent 3 years in Ephesus, teaching daily. While there, God did extraordinary miracles through Paul (Acts 19:11-12). The Greek word used means “to hit the mark like one who is throwing a javelin or arrow.” God was targeting their need. God demonstrated to those superstitious, obsessed people that He was more powerful than their magicians and other religious substitutes. He knew what they really needed—Himself!
- Because God targeted the Ephesians’ need, many followed Jesus and became disciple-makers as they went to their towns and planted churches all over western Turkey, multiplying Paul’s ministry. Ephesus stayed prominent—with a new identity as one of the leading centers of Christianity for hundreds of years. And, Ephesus became obsessed with a new purpose and object of worship—Jesus.
- God does that for us, too. He gives us a new identity in Christ and a new purpose as we follow Jesus and live for Him daily. And when we trust in His power in our lives to meet our needs, we recognize that the treasure we have in Jesus Christ is greater than anything we can substitute for Him.
The modern treasure chest
- Our culture in this age of reason is drawn to supernatural power though not necessarily God’s power.
- Westerners are interested in the supernatural because we seek anything that will satisfy the spiritual hunger in our soul and “guarantee” successful living.
- The treasure we already have in Jesus Christ is more valuable than any of those substitutes. The problem is that we have to recognize that substitute treasure is worthless.
Substitute treasure is worthless.
- When Christians lose confidence in the one true God to meet our needs, we begin to rely on the aid of other “powers” such as mystical experiences, formulas for “success,” and lucky practices. When we are no longer convinced that the treasure we have in Jesus Christ is effective to meet our need, we often look to substitutes, even subconsciously.
- When we recognize those substitutes, we should get rid of them and cling to our treasure in Christ alone.
Jesus Christ is more powerful than any substitute.
- Paul told Timothy that Jesus is his power to get through through anything. We have an incredible power source. In fact, the Greek word for power, dunamis, is where we get our word dynamite and is often translated as “miracles” in the New Testament. 2 Timothy 1:8-10
- Our identity comes from our power source, that which we rely upon. The power of God is available to every believer to meet every need. His dynamite power is for us and within Ephesians 1:19-22
- We can picture ourselves sitting with Jesus in the heavenly realms, with our treasure chest—all that we receive in Him. We can rest in that and all the treasure that comes with it. That’s the way to guarantee successful living—God’s way of successful living.
- The treasure you have in Jesus Christ is more powerful and valuable than anything you could substitute for Him.
Your treasure chest
Are you willing to get rid of your substitutes and cling to your treasure in Christ alone? Jesus Christ is your treasure. You can say with your heart to Him, “My treasure in you, Lord Jesus, is more powerful and valuable than anything I could substitute for You. Please confirm that in my heart.”
Let Jesus satisfy your heart with His faithfulness. Then, make the choice to stay faithful to Him for the rest of your life.
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