Treasure In My Heart
I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beseech you to walk worthily of the calling where with ye were called.
Has it dawned upon me yet that the Spirit of God within me is a Person? I am but an earthen vessel, but in that vessel I carry the treasure of unspeakable worth, even the Lord of glory. All the worry and fret of God’s children would end if their eyes were opened to the wealth of resources they carry with them, resources sufficient for every demand they will ever meet. All their flippancy too would cease if they realized the greatness of treasure hidden in their hearts. If you have only a dollar in your pocket you can march gaily along the street knowing that it matters little if you lose your money, for there is not much at stake. But if the sum you carry is five thousand dollars, the position is vastly different, and your whole demeanor will be different too. There will be gladness in your heart, but no careless jaunting along the road; and once in a while you will slacken your pace and slipping your hand into your pocket, you will finger your treasure again, and then with joyful solemnity continue on your way. Yes, I say it with utmost reverence: You who have been born again of the Spirit of God-you carry God in your heart!
Paul and the other writers of the New Testament use frequently the phrase “in Christ.” Further, Paul writes to the Corinthians that we are the “temple of the Holy Spirit.” Both these phrases remind us that when we become born again Christians- in everything that means- the Holy Spirit takes up residence in our bodies as His “temple.” We are not as Old Testament believers required to travel to a man-made tabernacle or temple for now God resides in flesh- ours. We are His habitation.
Many Christians believe that we are compartmentalized, that is there is the Sunday me that goes to a building and for an hour, I belong to God. But Monday through Saturday, I’m my own person. Throughout the week we make choices that benefits our person and preferences as though God only has weekend visitation rights. We live as though somehow God and the devil share joint custody. But this is Old Testament thinking rather than New.
As Jesus introduces the Holy Spirit, He tells us some significant things about Him. First of all, He is a Person- one of the Trinity and fully God. His presence in us is equal with the presence of the Father and Son. We read that for 33 years the Son lived among humanity in the flesh, died for their sins, was resurrected by the Holy Spirit, ascended to heaven and sat down in heaven at the right hand of the Father. When He ascended He sent to us the Holy Spirit who would now inhabit us as His dwelling place. Think for a moment about Mary who carried in her body the Lord Jesus. Do we not think that she carried heaven’s treasure? And do we not think that she recognized the priceless value that treasure was? Listen to her words:
And Mary said,“My soul magnifies and exalts the Lord, And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. “For He has looked [with loving care] on the humble state of His maidservant;For behold, from now on all generations will count me blessed and happy and favored by God! “For He who is mighty has done great things for me;And holy is His name [to be worshiped in His purity, majesty, and glory]. And his mercy is upon generation after generation toward those who stand in great awe of God and fear Him. “He has done mighty deeds with His [powerful] arm;He has scattered those who were proud in the thoughts of their heart. “He has brought down rulers from their thrones,And exalted those who were humble. “He has filled the hungry with good things;And sent the rich away empty-handed. “He has helped His servant Israel,In remembrance of His mercy, Just as He promised to our fathers,To Abraham and to his descendants forever.”
Can we believe that the Holy Spirit is any less valuable and ought we not be aware that our bodies are occupied by Him? If that’s the case then shouldn’t we be careful to keep His house in a good state the reflects His residency?
Two important matters to consider:
First, when we receive Christ as Savior we give up ownership of ourselves.
“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is within you, whom you have [received as a gift] from God, and that you are not your own [property]? You were bought with a price [you were actually purchased with the precious blood of Jesus and made His own]. So then, honor and glorify God with your body.”
1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Second, have we missed the fact that the Holy Spirit resides not on the outside but within.
“He who believes in Me [who adheres to, trusts in, and relies on Me], as the Scripture has said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” But He was speaking of the [Holy] Spirit, whom those who believed in Him [as Savior] were to receive afterward. The Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified (raised to honor).”
“I will put my Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My ordinances and do them.”
We all know the value of money for it has a place in our daily lives. We may know to some degree the value of fine jewels with proper training but I dare say that anyone who wears jewelry is aware of it being valuable even if they can’t assign a monetary value to it. Likewise we may not be able to fully know the incredible value of the treasure within us but we should recognize that it is indeed valuable. How amazing it is that God would entrust us with the treasure of heaven- the Holy Spirit. Can we not then let that fact influence our conduct, our worship, and our speech?
Dr. John Thompson