Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. (Luk 12:33-34, emphasis mine)
If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. (Col 3:1-4, emphasis mine)
The things of this world have lost their appeal. Perhaps our hearts have been too interested in worldly treasures without us even realizing it. Since Isaac passed on, we have been spending much more time in the Word of God and prayer. As we do this, our hearts are more inclined towards eternal matters. We not only look forward to seeing the glories of heaven through Christ Jesus our saviour, but now we also look forward to seeing our son Isaac again. We miss him so much (in case I haven’t said that before).
And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection. (Luk 8:14, emphasis mine)
Over the last several years, we deliberately weeded out worldly things that occupied much of our time, energy and devotion. However, there have been little things that remained or crept back in. We are now early in the process of weeding out those things that have choked our fruit so that it could not fully ripen. Our desire is that we establish a firm foundation of Jesus Christ in our children and then build upon that foundation with eternal resources.
For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. (1Co 3:11-15)
We are trying to be more consistent and intentional with our family devotions. In fact, this past Friday night, instead of watching our typical “family friendly” movie, we spent our time reading God’s Word. We have been reading through the book of Luke and that night our reading was Luke 21. In this passage, some were admiring the adornment of the temple and Jesus then prophesied of its ultimate destruction. They then asked when this should be and what sign would there be when it happens. Jesus then gave them many signs to look for concerning that season and the end of the world/age (I encourage you to take the time to read the passage and its parallels in Matthew 24 and Mark 13). This reading spurred an interesting discussion amongst our family about the times in which we currently live in relation to this passage. Jesus said that when we “see all these things, know that it is near, even at the door” (Mat 24:33). We will not know the day or the hour (Mat 24:36) but we should be ready because he will come at an hour when we think not (Mat 24:44). Therefore, I believe that it is most important that we know Jesus today (please read Hebrews 3).
God continues to bless us with little treasures among our ashes. One such treasure was discovered on Friday evening during our Bible time. We had pulled out an old children’s bible story book (you know the kind with the cartoons of people with really big eyes) for the “littles” to look at. As Gracia opened the front cover, we noticed some writing on the inside. We thanked the Lord and began to weep when we saw this in Isaac’s handwriting:
This may or may not seem like much to you but it is priceless to us (including his “glitch” of flipping his consonants).
Thank you for your prayers, meals, etc. You have blessed us beyond expectation or ability to express our gratitude. Please continue to pray for us. We cannot predict what emotions we will encounter from day-to-day. We have big holes in our hearts that continue to ache. I begin back to work this Tuesday and will be traveling to work two days per week for most of June. I anticipate that I will work from home several of the other weekdays. As of today, I cannot anticipate how my heart will be engaged in my work. I can only take things one day at a time through God’s strength. Please pray that Brenda and the children will be able to establish a routine and that we will turn our hearts to each other as a family (Mal 4:5-6) as we turn our hearts to God. I have developed a new appreciation for the Father’s heart that is alluded to in this most popular verse (not that my pain is anywhere near the experience of God the Father’s):
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (Joh 3:16, emphasis mine)