Daily Devotional

A Better Resurrection

by Simon Whitton

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth,
where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.
But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.

Matthew 6:19-20 (NIV)

We often expect our life of faith and sacrifice to reward us in this life, and although it can in some ways, the things we store up on earth will soon be gone. Fortunately for us this life isn't all there is, we can look forward to a better place.

13 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth.
16 Instead, they were longing for a better country-- a heavenly one.  Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.

Hebrews 11:13,16 (NIV)

It's the next life that we should be living for. We don't belong to the earth. We should look forward to the resurrection, a better country, where God is preparing a place for us.  That's we where we belong and that's what we should long for.

The Lord encourages us again and again to prepare for the next life, and we can do this by giving to the poor, doing good deeds, by being kind to the needy, by generosity and sharing.  When we do these things, we provide ourselves with treasure in Heaven, because we will be rewarded for every good deed, every gift and gesture towards the less fortunate.

This will be the best investment we ever made.  We will sow a little and reap a bounty of treasure that won't wear out, for a coming age where life will be truly life.

Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds,
and to be generous and willing to share.
In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.

1 Timothy 6:18-19 (NIV)

But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind,
and you will be blessed.  Although they cannot repay you,
you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous."

Luke 14:13-14(NIV)

What an opportunity we now have in this life to sow for the next.  This is why we can afford to give lavishly, laugh at our poverty and spend our lives for the good of others.  The more we do for others, the more we give and sacrifice, the more we suffer in this life, the better our reward in the next.  Christians in the first century understood this, and even took it to an extreme by refusing to be released from torture, so they'd receive a better resurrection:

Others were tortured and refused to be released,
so that they might gain a better resurrection.
Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison.

Hebrews 11:35b-36 (NIV)

Spend some time in prayer and pray that you would not live for this life but for the next.  Pray that the Lord would give you the heart and the opportunities to sow generously in many ways.  Thank God that He has given you this chance to invest in your heavenly future and for the rich reward that He has planned for you.

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
2 Corinthians 9:8 (NIV)

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