Saturday, 2 February 2013

When Everything Is Lost


Dunalley BushfireAustralia has been battered by extremes over the past few weeks. Just few hours from our city, the Tasman Peninsula has been devastated by horrendous bush-fires which destroyed the majority of homes there. Meanwhile in Queensland the worst floods in recorded history have destroyed homes, businesses and farms. One Bundaberg home builder had just a million dollars of his life savings on their dream home. It was one week away from final Municipal inspections and approvals. Because the owner didn't have this inspection and Municipal approvals he was not able to insure his new home. The floods demolished it. "I've lost everything!" he told the reporter. A Dunally resident, who lost everything in the fires was heard to say that in strange way it was: "freeing". It's tragic moments like these that should gently interrupt our sympathies and cause us to reflect on what we consider to be our "everything" - our real "treasure".
Bundaberg flood 2013
¶ "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Maathew 6:19-21
Dunalley BushfiresI once heard of a bumper sticker that said, HE DIES WITH MOST TOYS WINS. What a pitifully sad way to view life. Jesus taught that life does not consist of things, rather it consists of having rich intimacy with God. The next time you are feeling down about what you don't have, raise your hands to heaven and thank God for what you do have! If you woke up today and you weren't in the metaphysical flames of everlasting damnation, even if you don't care much for Christ, you should really drop to knees and gratefully bow your head in thankfulness! And while you evaluate your 401C or Superannuation Account, consider an investment strategy plan in eternal treasures! You can start building your true treasures now. But it will mean holding onto your material treasures with a very loose hand - that is, it will require a change from rich for yourself to being rich toward God.
"So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God."
Luke 12:21
Horatio SpaffordHoratio Spafford was rich toward God. He and his wife mourned as their only son died very young. They suffered great loss in Chicago fires of 1871. He was a lawyer who had invested heavily in real estate around Lake Michigan and was sorely tested when everyone of these holdings were destroyed. He had previously arranged to travel to England with D.L. Moody in 1873 as he conducted evangelistic campaigns there. He still had business to attend to though in Chicago so he postponed his voyage but sent his wife and four daughters on ahead. As passed through a particularly rough portion of the ocean they encountered a fierce storm and the boat began to sink. His wife survived but his daughters did not. As he sailed the Atlantic to join his wife in England the captain of the ship called him to the bridge. "A careful reckoning has been made", he said, "and I believe we are now passing the place where the de Havre was wrecked. The water is three miles deep." Standing on the deck of the ship in the midst of raging seas he was sprayed by the billowing seas, he returned to his cabin and penned these words-
Written by Horatio SpaffordWhen peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.
Horatio Spafford's treasure was not his vast real estate holdings - or even his family - it was his peace with God. The apostle Paul instructed Timothy to pastor the wealthy in his church with these words-
thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.
First Timothy 6:19
For those who have been gripped by Christ and shaped by the Gospel, our "treasure" has been redefined. As we spare a thought and offer a prayer for those who have "lost everything" we should be grateful that no earthly fire or flood can take from us what is our true treasure.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
Romans 8:28
Andrew Corbett

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