I was listening to a Christian radio station the other day and they were celebrating the life of Billy Graham. One mom called in to say that her family had been at one of his evangelistic outreaches when her daughter (now 14) was 5 years old. When the call to come to the altar and commit your life to Christ came, the little girl looked at her parents and said, “I want that.”
That just floored me. And it got me thinking. All of the boys have given their hearts to God, and according to my understanding of salvation, that gets them to heaven. What it doesn’t get them is closer to God after they arrive.
The way I understand it, there are rewards in heaven in addition to just getting there. Some folks believe that those rewards are things like mansions, streets of gold, wealth beyond imagining, that sort of thing. Those may indeed be waiting for us, but I like to think that the biggest reward of all is getting to stand closer to Him. The Creator of the Universe. How amazing would that be?
Matthew 6:20 says “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal,”. I believe we store up treasures by doing our best here on earth to be like Christ; treating other people with love and respect. We earn treasure when we serve others, and when we please our Heavenly Father.
I’m not saying that I can earn my salvation. That’s a gift that I can only accept or reject.
Once the gift is accepted, that’s where the storing (or earning) begins. I store up rewards and treasures with my service and faithfulness; with my efforts to develop the fruits of the spirit (love, peace, joy, patience, faithfulness, kindness, etc.). I personally have such a long way to go with this process…I’ll be blessed just to be able to see God from the furthest reaches of Heaven. That’s partly why I am anxious for the boys to do better than I have.
At the tender ages of 12 and 8 though, it’s understandable that the boys wouldn’t have a truly mature desire to serve God with all their hearts, minds, and souls. And yet, I long for the days that each of them look heavenward and say, “I want that.”
Earnest Parenting: help for parents who want kids to store up treasures in heaven.
Image courtesy of LadyDragonflyCC via Creative Commons license, some rights reserved.