Leviticus 19:1-18; 1 Thessalonians 5:12-28; Matthew 6:19-24
You wonder if Jesus lived by his own words. Was he laying up treasure in heaven when he healed the sick? Was he racking up points for eternity when he lifted little children to his chest?
You know better. With complete abandon, he poured himself out for each of us. Love for the sake of reward is not love.
Then what do his words to us say about him?
Isaiah foretold: he will see the travail of his soul and be satisfied. That’s his treasure. Spat upon, his love became patience. Met with a driven nail, his open-handed gift reached for eternity. His reward is the eternal joy of those redeemed by his travail. His treasure is to see it in their faces.
And you. You are baptized into his way of life. Marked with the cross, you keep loving when you receive nothing, or worse, evil. You are no stranger to the agony of prayer. You are mocked behind your back. Whole swaths of the population don’t take you seriously.
You shrug this off. But Jesus doesn’t. He knows your suffering and its eternal purpose. It’s beautiful: a treasure. It will give him great joy to show you this.
Prayer: Holy Father, you are at work in my suffering; make me patient. Amen
Today’s devotion was written by Gary Blobaum, Pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church, in Sumter, SC.