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Posts Tagged ‘vanity’

Ecclesiastes_1_14

1.0 Life Under the Sun Filled with Vanity

King Solomon as the Wisest Person who ever lived, reflected upon life “under the sun” from an Earthly perspective.

“Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity. What does man gain by all the toil at which he toils under the sun?”

‭‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭1:2-3‬ ‭ESV‬‬

http://bible.com/59/ecc.1.2-3.esv

2.0 Vanity (Hebrew Word Hevel ) Defined

The definition of vanity available on several word meaning websites shows English word vanity (Original Hebrew Word Hevel הבל) includes descriptions like breath, emptiness / empty, fruitless, futility, hollowness, valueless, vapor, and worthless / worthlessness.

3.0 Activities Inherently Vain

From the Earthly perspective of things, peoples activities inherently as vain as chasing the wind. Picturing a person chasing the wind, it appears an non-ending lifelong effort in futility & busy-ness.

“I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a striving after wind.”

‭‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭1:14‬ ‭ESV‬‬

http://bible.com/59/ecc.1.14.esv

4.0 Pursuing Wisdom & Foolishness Like Chasing the Wind

The situation is so dire that even pursuing wisdom & even foolishness also is like chasing after the wind too.

“And I applied my heart to know wisdom and to know madness and folly. I perceived that this also is but a striving after wind.”

‭‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭1:17‬ ‭ESV‬‬

http://bible.com/59/ecc.1.17.esv

5.0 Jesus Greater than King Solomon

Jesus the Savior lived on the Earth and is greater than Solomon. Jesus shares both Earthly and Heavenly perspectives.

The queen of the South will rise up at the judgment with the men of this generation and condemn them, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here.

Luke 11:31 English Standard Version

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+11:31&version=ESV

Jesus shared a way to create lasting value in our lives & the lives of others. Jesus is co-creator of our Universe with God the Father & the Holy Spirit. Jesus left Heaven to come to Earth as a human and returned to Heaven after his death & his resurrection.

6.0 Earthly Treasures Not Ultimate Aim

People’s lifelong pursuits often encompass striving to obtain money & possessions. When looking to find treasure, Jesus revealed worldly wealth & possessions are not the ultimate aim in life.

“”Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal,”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭6:19‬ ‭ESV‬‬

http://bible.com/59/mat.6.19.esv

7.0 Aim Life Towards Heavenly Treasures

Ultimately, Jesus instructed people to aim their lives pursuit of treasure away from Earthly treasure and instead towards lasting treasure in heaven as more important & more permanent than Earthly treasures.

“but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭6:20‬ ‭ESV‬‬

http://bible.com/59/mat.6.20.esv

8.0 Treasures Valued Reflect Heart Values

Earthly treasures ultimately may get stolen or lose value or get damaged. Earthly treasures left behind when life over.

Heavenly treasures are a lasting gift for this life and the next life in the New Heaven & New Earth.

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭6:21‬ ‭ESV‬‬

http://bible.com/59/mat.6.21.esv

The things individuals treasure (value) provides insights into their character as reflected in references to “The Heart,” which reflects what ultimately is important to a person.

  • To the degree our possessions & wealth & power & position get valued above people, it reflects our sinful nature & our need to reach out to Jesus to redirect Our Hearts.
  • To the extent our faithful obedience to Jesus & love for God dominates us inwardly & gets evidenced in our lives externally through our love for others exhibited in our actions, then reasonably expect our heavenly treasure to accumulate.

9.0 Heavenly Treasures & Righteousness

What hints does the Bible’s Holy Scriptures provide about what constitutes these heavenly treasures?

One hint provided to find out what constitutes heavenly treasures is in what God says is our first priority in life.

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭6:33‬ ‭ESV‬‬

http://bible.com/59/mat.6.33.esv

Seeking God’s Kingdom and his righteousness is the first priority.

  • To clarify, people don’t automatically understand what’s important to God, so people need to learn from Jesus the Son of God which behaviors & characteristics God desires us to live out.
  • Even with a partial understanding of what’s important to God, people don’t always pursue what’s important to God.
  • People don’t always engrain what’s valued by God into their personal character at “The Heart” of their innermost self.

10.0 Heavenly Treasure Types

What other types of treasures get stored up in Heaven?

God provides another hint through the lives of apostles & disciples who followed Jesus’s teaching in their lives after Jesus resurrection & later ascention into Heaven.

“For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not you? For you are our glory and joy.”

‭‭1 Thessalonians‬ ‭2:19-20‬ ‭ESV‬‬

http://bible.com/59/1th.2.19-20.esv

Early Apostles & Disciples like Paul, Silas & Timothy cared deeply that others came to know & believe in Jesus “The Christ” & attain eternal life. The treasure in Heaven in this context corresponds to people getting admitted into Heaven. These believers build up their own heavenly treasure troves, being transformed inwardly into the image & character of Jesus. These believers live out that reality while still in their mortal human bodies.

Even misguided people with misguided theology get converts to their religious beliefs, and this does not provide them nor their converts heavenly treasure.

11.0 Heavenly Treasures & Seeking God’s Heart

What additional hints does God provide on what leads to treasure in Heaven?

God’s looking for people who will follow his will by pursing a heart like God’s. The Apostles point back to King David whose inner character God highlighted as striving to align with God’s heart, even though King David also needed to seek forgiveness for his sins too.

“And when he had removed him, he raised up David to be their king, of whom he testified and said, ‘I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after my heart, who will do all my will.’”

‭‭Acts‬ ‭13:22‬ ‭ESV‬‬

http://bible.com/59/act.13.22.esv

King David’s Son Solomon, as the next appointed King of Israel, affirmed the character attributes God valued in King David. God wishes to see these values in all people walking a life in faith towards God with a proper heart reflecting these values. This involves exhibiting a righteousness aligning with God’s views, consistent with seeking first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness.

“And Solomon said, “You have shown great and steadfast love to your servant David my father, because he walked before you in faithfulness, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart toward you. And you have kept for him this great and steadfast love and have given him a son to sit on his throne this day.”

‭‭1 Kings‬ ‭3:6‬ ‭ESV‬‬

http://bible.com/59/1ki.3.6.esv

12.0 Righteous Live By Faith & Evidential Works Follow

God provided many examples recorded in scripture of people in history who followed him & set their heart towards God through faith. The righteousness of God comes through faith in Jesus “The Rock” & living that faith results in evidential works.

What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; but the people of Israel, who pursued the law as the way of righteousness, have not attained their goal. Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone. As it is written:

“See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes people to stumble
    and a rock that makes them fall,
    and the one who believes in him will never be put to shame.

Romans 9:30-33 New International Version (NIV)

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans+9%3A30-33&version=NIV

13.0 Jesus’ Nature The Divine Nature

Ultimately, all these examples point to God’s Son Jesus “Emmanuel / God with Us”, who reveals God’s heart & what God expects from us & points us to store up treasures in heaven.

He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.

Hebrews 1:3-4 (English Standard Version):

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Hebrews+1%3A3-4&version=ESV

14.0 Does Heavenly Treasures include Material Rewards & Companionship Rewards ?

Reason infers heavenly treasures is not money and not material possessions, though possibly heavenly treasures include material possessions also. Of course, for those who make it to Heaven, expect God to provide needs wonderfully. Scriptures mention receiving hundredfold (or manifold / many) more fields/lands/houses for those faithful followers who left lands/fields/houses for Jesus’ name sake. The same likewise true if needed to leave for Jesus’ name sake sisters, brothers, fathers, mothers, and children.

  • Do you think these material rewards mentioned awarded on Earth or in Heaven or both?
  • Likewise, do you think companionship of sisters / brothers / fathers / mothers / children awarded on Earth or Heaven or both?

Positions of authority & power & judgement getting awarded to the Apostle Peter in the New World, along with other faithful Apostles in Jesus’ time.

Then Peter said in reply, “See, we have left everything and followed you. What then will we have?” Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.

Matthew 19:27-29 (English Standard Version)

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+19&version=ESV

15.0 Divine Nature Path &  Life of Godliness Path to Accumulate Heavenly Treasures 

Reason suggests treasures in heaven encompass wealth that is spiritual in nature & pertains to how well our inner nature approaches God’s Divine nature & our resulting outward accomplishments mirror God’s will for our lives. The path to accomplish accumulating treasures in heaven through individual faith in Jesus Christ God’s Son.

May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.

2 Peter 1:2-4 (English Standard Version)

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2%20Peter+1&version=ESV

Starting in our mortal bodies, a life of godliness rooted in Jesus is the key to our sharing in God’s divine nature & to accumulate heavenly treasures for eternity.

16.0 Pursuing God’s Image Path to Heavenly Treasures

As God created humankind’s original mental brain capabilities in his image, God’s original intention for his people to aspire to grow further into maturity in godliness into God’s image, as knowledge of God increased & people learned from lives experiences under God’s mentorship & tutelage & friendship.

So God created mankind in his own image,
    in the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them.

Genesis 1:27 New International Version (NIV)

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+1&version=NIV

17.0 Richly Accumulate Heavenly Treasures

Knowing that Jesus points the way to treasures in Heaven, does God in the scriptures share if there exists a way on Earth to now accumulate greater wealth in Heaven? Yes.

2 Peter 1:11 (English Standard Version):

For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2%20Peter+1&version=ESV

18.0 Character Attributes to Accumulate Great Treasures in Heaven

What specific additional guidance does the scriptures contain to accumulate great treasures in Heaven in our Faith Walk with Jesus?

  1. Faith supplement with Virtue
  2. Virtue supplement with Knowledge
  3. Knowledge supplement with Self-Control
  4. Self-Control supplement with Steadfastness
  5. Steadfastness supplement with Godliness
  6. Godliness supplement with Brotherly Affection
  7. Brotherly Affection supplement with Love
  8. Love

For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.

2 Peter 1:5-7 (English Standard Version)

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2%20Peter+1&version=ESV

What benefits result from adding the above traits to our character as follow Jesus Christ in Faith? The beneficial results enable each person to become productive in their personal faith walk as their own character improves.

19.0 Lacking Character Attributes to Accumulate Great Treasures in Heaven

What if an assessment accurately shows these qualities not improving? If not improving, then lose effectiveness, so need to refocus on faith in Jesus & again work on those character traits in the spirit of first seeking God’s Kingdom & righteousness.

For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.

2 Peter 1:8-9 English Standard Version

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Peter+1%3A8-9&version=ESV

20.0 Your Chances to Succeed at Accumulating Heavenly Treasures

In the business arena’s pursuit of worldly wealth, it’s known that seeking monetary & material wealth is not guaranteed to result in success due to both foreseen & unforeseen risks & events.

In our religious pursuit of heavenly treasures, what’s the chance to succeed in accumulating Heavenly wealth of eternally superior value? Success comes when diligently done properly as these traits become embedded into our character in living out our faith walk in Jesus.

Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall.

2 Peter 1:10 English Standard Version

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Peter+1&version=ESV

21.0 Accumulating Heavenly Treasures a Lifetime Lifestyle

Is this a lifetime pursuit, or something you do once & then move onto something else? This a lifetime pursuit & process & a lifestyle that encompasses each person’s entire life.

In Heaven, Jesus’ true faithful followers in a privileged situation to become like Jesus in nature after more fully then comprehending God’s character & heart that Jesus reveals.

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.

1 John 3:1-3 (English Standard Version)

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20John+3&version=ESV

22.0 Accumulating Even More Abundantly Heavenly Treasures

In business, it’s known that acting wisely with good advice increases chances of business success, and also improves likelihood that succeed even more abundantly.

Likewise, to increase your chance in eternal matters, in faith ask God for Wisdom, so you can better understand & discern & navigate & live out a life that abundantly stores up treasures in Heaven.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

James 1:5-8 (English Standard Version)

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=James+1&version=ESV

23.0 Challenger Bonus Rounds to Accumulate More Heavenly Rewards 

When people play challenging games & doing well in game, then sometimes presented with challenging bonus rounds where can accumulate more points / rewards.

Likewise, in some cases real life provides “bonus rounds” where believers face intense opposition & persecution.

  • It’s important this persecution not due to a believers poor mistreatment and/or disrespect of opposition
  • It’s important this persecution related to opponents rewarding good behavior with persecution

Preparation for bonus round includes previously mentioned heart-work & character attributes overlaid upon individual faith & love. Basically need own heart in proper position where you love God & secondly love all people. The involves care & consideration towards others.

As it’s important your own faith exhibits a great depth to best prepare to endure & succeed past bonus round, please later review below materials too:

What scriptures highlight these challenging bonus round to achieve Great Bonus Rewards in Heaven?

“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Matthew 5:11-12 New International Version (NIV)

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+5&version=NIV

  1. Does above scripts imply all persecution bonus rounds result in great heavenly rewards?  No, not all, since scriptures listed terms / conditions.
  2. Why Not? On several occasions people claiming to follow Jesus & Christianity actually very inconsiderate & disrespectful & uncaring towards others. When persecution a responsive byproduct of improper treatment of others, then above great heavenly rewards mentioned by Jesus not necessarily guaranteed.
  3. Why? The great heavenly rewards Jesus mention apply when the persecution because of Jesus. If persecution not due to Jesus, then not necessarily get these great heavenly bonus rewards. As per above Bible verse, the persecution to fit into conditions where “people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of” Jesus.

To handle this challenging bonus round to earn great heavenly rewards difficult, as it involves a character that responds in love & prayer towards persecution & persecutors especially when mistreatment undeserved & unwarranted based upon believers conduct & care towards others.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Matthew 5:43-48 New International Version (NIV)

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+5%3A43-48&version=NIV

24.0 Recap Path to Successfully & Abundantly Accumulate Heavenly Treasures

To summarize, our lives already filled with vanity & chasing after the wind. To add lasting value, people need to leverage faith in Jesus Christ to store their own eternal treasures in heaven & guide others to store their own eternal treasures. In Faith, ask God for Wisdom to abundantly increase your treasures in Heaven & become a blessing in the world.

Accomplish this by first seeking God’s righteousness & Kingdom & and then internally working on a living faith exhibiting the identified character traits in increasing quality to become successful. Ultimately our Faith in Jesus leads us to properly share & exhibit the Love God intended & even commanded people to exhibit.

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

Matthew 22:36-39 (English Standard Version)

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+22%3A35-38&version=ESV

Wishing you a fruitful journey as your explore the scriptures to understand God’s Character to solidify your faith in Jesus to live out your life as a blessing to others.

As it’s important your own faith exhibits a great depth to best prepare to endure & succeed past bonus round, recommend review below materials too:

25.0 Key Points Fill in the Blank:

  1. Life “under the sun” from an Earthly perspective filled with ___________ and a striving after the ________.
  2. Jesus instructed people to aim their lives pursuit of treasure away from Earthly treasure and rather towards lasting treasure in ___________.
  3. “For where your treasure is, there your __________ will be also.” (Matthew‬ ‭6:21‬ ‭ESV‬‬)
  4. To accumulate great treasures in Heaven due to our Faith Walk with Jesus, enhance your Faith by adding _________, enhance _________ by adding knowledge, enhance knowledge by adding ____-________, enhance ____-________ by adding steadfastness, enhance steadfastness by adding _________, enhance __________ by adding Brotherly Affection, enhance Brotherly Affection by adding _____.
  5. God’s looking for people who will follow his will by pursing a heart like ________.
  6. To increase your chance to succeed in eternal matters, in faith ask God for _________ to better understand & discern & navigate & live out a life which abundantly stores up treasures in Heaven.
  7. Accumulating Heavenly Treasures a _________ pursuit & process & lifestyle.
  8. “Therefore, brothers, be all the more ___________ to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never ______.” (2 Peter 1:10 English Standard Version (ESV))
  9. If _______________ traits not improving then lose effectiveness, so need to refocus on faith in Jesus & again work on those _____________ traits in the spirit of first seeking God’s Kingdom & righteousness.
  10. “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your __________ in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matthew 5:11-12 New International Version (NIV) )

Matthew_6_19-20

26.0 Credits:

  • Special Thanks for Earth Globe Courtesy Microsoft Office used in Visual Graphics, Microsoft Corporation, https://www.microsoft.com/

27.0 Related References:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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