Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Heavenly riches

A little over two thousand years ago, the Jews were awaiting their Messiah. Some, perhaps many, envisioned that He would come as a great conqueror, one who would free them from the tyranny and oppression of the Roman Empire with a blazing sword of victory. They awaited a mighty King, who would subdue their enemies and wield a literal bow of bronze. One who was mighty in the eyes of the world, wearing man's jewelled robe of magnificence.

How could they have comprehended that the Name above all Names, the true Messiah, would pay the criminals' penalty... undergoing an incomprehensible depth of suffering? Would be mocked, despised, tortured and put to death by themselves, His own people?

What a striking contrast was the reality from the cherished dream. The reality was beyond the comprehension of the world, and indeed, still is. The Son of God died alongside criminals, though He had said, "Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He shall presently give Me more than twelve legions of angels?" (Matt 26: 53).

The world cannot understand this. The Jews could not understand, still cannot. They had awaited a king who would achieve magnificent triumph for them, in this world.

They could not see that the Lord Jesus Christ sought much greater riches than these. His glory was not of this world. Nor was the treasure which He paid for at great price.

"Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to His saints: to whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of Glory..." (Col 1: 26-7).

Two years ago, I devoted an entire year to completing grade 12 successfully. For a year I was almost engrossed in this endeavour, and at the end of it, with the completed certificates in my hand, I was faced with one big question... "What next?". This question remained with me the whole of the following year.

While remembering and discussing this a couple of days ago, Mum said something interesting and thought-provoking. Ever since then, I've been 'writing it out' in my journal :), and would love to share some of these thoughts.

"Our Saviour sought and paid the price for heavenly riches... what about His people, who have been redeemed and purchased by the shedding of His precious blood? What are we seeking? What achievements or fruits do we count as 'riches'?

"In a simple, humble, quiet task, which is only the plop of a pebble in the ocean of 'success', who will look up with praise for the doer, and say "She is a success! See how she conquered the summit of the mountain! Read what a best-selling masterpiece she has written!".

"Rather, if a beautiful victory is gained or fruit is produced through the most unassuming and obscure of circumstances, wouldn't one look up in surprise and say,

"Jesus, You have turned a thing of no beauty into something beautiful. You have crafted something menial into something precious. You have changed something plain, dreary and dry into a colourful lesson. I was weak, because there was no worldly aspiration to drive me on, no hope of praise from men or earthly elevation. Yet in my weakness, You became my Strength.

"In something which already looks grand and magnificent in the eyes of man, there is not so great a need for Your beautifying Hand. But in something devoid of beauty, glory, and magnificence, there is every need for Your Hand. Therein is Your magnificence seen! Therein are Your riches discovered, for You are Sufficient and the Giver of all good! I am poor and needy and lacking... but my God shall supply your need, and mine, according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus!"


Shaz in Oz.CalligraphyCards said...

ah Maddy thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and tuning our eyes and hearts heavenward - truly ,day by day, moment by moment we are walking with Jesus and it thrills our very being that He hears and answers our breathed prayers sometimes even before we manage to ask Him.
What a great God, LORD and Saviour and Friend of sinners - yes He loves the unlovely and "He makes everything beautiful (especially us)in His time".
love in Him, Shaz.x

April said...

My dear sister;

This post has truly blessed me.

"In something which already looks grand and magnificent in the eyes of man, there is not so great a need for Your beautifying Hand."

That is a beautiful statement.

Let us rely on our Jesus alone, not looking to ourselves for those things we think the world expects of us.
They expected so much from the Messiah - and look at the simplicity, humility, and baseness of those flesh things He offered them.
May our hearts and minds be stayed on those riches that come from above - that issue forth from the Life within us; not from our own flesh.

My dear sister, thank you for writing as the Lord leads you. Your posts always bless me so much.

Let us continue to encourage one another!

With much love from your sister;

Carra - a bondservant of Jesus said...

My dearest sister Maddy,

Oh praise the Lord Jesus for this very special and lovely revelation my dear sister.

It brings such hope to my spirit, and refreshing this morning. It helps me very much, dear Maddy.

Thank you for sharing what the Lord has shown you. Indeed He shall supply all our needs, according to His riches in Glory by our Lord Christ Jesus.

Thank you Maddy, words cannot express what a blessing our Savior is to us all, and what a gift our fellowship is.

May His Holy Name be praised, and I am praying for you.
Love your sister, Carra

Maddy said...

Thanks Shaz for these words,
What an incomparable blessing and wonder it is to know the Lord Jesus. Indeed He is the friend of sinners, and hears our prayers even before we ask. Yes, how it thrills us to see anew His faithfulness!

Maddy said...

Dear sister April,

I pray you are feeling better today. Thank you so much for sharing even while you feel unwell, your words were such an encouragement.
Amen, may we look to Jesus alone, looking away from self. By His grace, we may keep our eyes fixed on Him - by His grace and not by our strivings!
Yes dear sister, may we "lay up for ourselves" treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust can corrupt, with our minds stayed upon Him.
Your sharing always is such a blessing, dear sister; thank you for stopping by.
Love your sister,

Maddy said...

Dearest Carra,

I loved to hear from you today, dear sister, and am praying for you. Isn't this a precious promise from our Saviour, that He will supply all our need.
In His Presence is all fulness and rejoicing; His Name is Jehovah. Praise the Name of Jesus!
May we see and trust that this is so, and love Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength.
Dear sister, our fellowship truly is a gift, and I thank the Lord for you, and for our fellowship in Him.
Much love,

Sarah said...

Dear Maddy,
Thanks for sharing your heart thoughts with us. They are really encouraging. Yes, we need Him in every moment of every day. We need to give Him our broken, ugly vessels for Him to beautify and mold into something for His glory.
May He guide you always.
love in Him,

Joy said...

Coming at the tail end of the conversation, I'd like to say, Maddy, how this really blessed me when I read it. How we need Jesus as our all Sufficient Saviour and Provider, our All in All!

"I was weak, because there was no worldly aspiration to drive me on, no hope of praise from men or earthly elevation. Yet in my weakness, You became my Strength."

That touched my heart, and really spoke to me. Thank you for sharing what the Lord laid on your heart, dear sister. I always find it such an encouragement to put my thoughts, prayers and worries onto paper, and lay it at the Lord's feet. Then, going back over them, there is so much blessing in seeing what the Lord Jesus has spoken to me in.

I'm sorry to have taken time to comment, Maddy. We've been really busy, but Lord willing I will be sending you a letter really soon... before the holidays end!

In His love,