Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Lord's Treasured Possession

We all have things that we treasure: items that mean so much to us that we protect them and keep them safe. I've heard it often asked: if there was a fire what would you grab to save? For many it would be family pictures or pets or that special ornament that has been handed down through your family; things that are irreplaceable. 

But what does the Lord, who owns the cattle on a thousand hills, treasure? What does He hold dear? It's not gold, He uses it as pavement in Heaven. It's not jewels, He uses those as building blocks for the walls. It's not houses, He has a city full of mansions. It is none of these things. Actually, it's you that He treasures. You. That is, if you honor Him. If you do, you are His greatest treasure.

Malachi 3 verses 16-18 say:   Then those who feared the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the Lord and honored his name.
 “On the day when I act,” says the Lord Almighty, “they will be my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as a father has compassion and spares his son who serves him. 18 And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.

Let's break these verses down. First we see that those who fear the Lord are heard. When we give God His rightful place in our lives, we are heard by Him. He listens to us because we realize that He is God and we are not. He is in control of all things and we can't help ourselves. We depend on Him and seek His will above doing things our own way. We know that His ways are higher than ours and we know that our ways will only lead us into trouble. When we realize that He alone has power over life and death, that He alone knows the number of our days, we realize His place and ours. And He listens to us. The God of all creation listens to us. 

Malachi tells us that a scroll of remembrance was written concerning all those who feared the Lord and honored His name. God remembers who you are. He knows your heart. He knows the secret desires and dreams you have. He can see past the mask you show to others. He knows if you are just playing games or are the real deal. He knows and He remembers. And He has written down everything concerning you. We can't hide anything from God and that is a good thing because we can be ourselves, our true self, with Him. We can cry out to Him from our deepest hurt and He hears us, because we honor Him. 

As we read these verses we next see the promise of a day when the Lord will act. He is being merciful now and giving the world time to turn to Him but there is coming a day when He will act. He will come to rescue those who are true to Him and to judge those who are not. The Lord says that in that day those who fear and honor Him will be His treasured possession. On that terrible day He has promised to spare those who have put Him first in their lives and to have compassion on us. We are the treasured possession He would grab if there were a fire. 

On the day that He acts He tells us there will be a distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not. He already knows those who just pays Him lip service. He sees behind the masks. He knows those who do things their own way instead of His and on that day we will see the distinction too. But we have nothing to fear from that day because we are His treasured possession. He said so Himself. Isn't that a wonderful feeling?

Sometimes the world can seem like a very scary place. I have heard some Christians say that reading books of prophesy scare them to death. But we have nothing to fear if we are honoring God and doing things His way. We are safe. We are a cherished, treasured possession that He will protect and keep from harm. We are blessed. No matter what happens we can rest assured that He will take care of us. He will never fail us. We are His treasured possession. 

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