It was here! A new TARGET catalog. A perfect showcase of all the wonderfully, beautiful things I could own: farmhouse tables, elegant dishes, tufted club chairs, and diamond-printed comforter sets. I casually flipped through the pages while my son, Jack, looked on. “I like those chairs, mommy.” I giggle to myself. Because what the TARGET catalog doesn’t show is how he would like to launch himself from that elegant tufted chair, convinced that the shag stripe rug below is really a red hot, fiery pit of lava! I laugh, but the sad truth is I sometimes wish my life were more like that catalog. A life with no stains, or dust, or dirt, or broken things. But, while the catalog living room scene appears perfect, I notice something. The chairs are empty. They are for display only. Perfect is an illusion. You can’t live there. I know it is the world that disillusions me into this thinking. So, I put the TARGET catalog to the side and pick-up a better book. A book that is not full of illusion, but truth–God’s truth. The Bible.
The truths I find there remind me:
- To set my mind on Heaven where my true treasure lies
Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. (Colossians 3:2 ESV)
Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:19-21 ESV)
- I am a Child of God
But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. (John 1:12 ESV)
- I have a delightful inheritance as a joint heir with Christ
…and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17a ESV)
Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. (Psalm 16:5-6 NIV)
- I am complete in Christ
…and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority. (Colossians 2:10 NIV)
- I am never alone
And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age. (Matthew 28:20b ESV)
These are the truths I want to saturate my life. To borrow from Alex, they are soul-satisfying. And certainly better than anything I could pick up on my next TARGET run. My Bible should never be “for display only.” Each time I crack open the spine of my Bible, I am reminded of the sweet, loving promises of my Heavenly Father.
There is another reminder I have received from God’s word recently. During BIG small Group, Northstar has spent time reflecting on these promises from Romans 5:
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. (Romans 5:1-5 ESV)
I hope because of Jesus. I do not hope in this world. The hope I have will never disappoint me, because it is comes from my loving Heavenly Father. That is definitely something to rejoice about!
Thank You for the loving gift of your Son, Jesus. He is our Hope. He made a way for us to be in a perfect place with You forever. When our eyes are focused more on the things of this world, help us to turn our eyes back to Jesus (Hebrews 12:2). Thank You for the unchanging truth we find in Your Word. Discipline us to spend time in Your Word each day. May we hold fast to what is good (1 Thessalonians 5:21).
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face;
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace.
Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus Helen Howarth Lemmel (1922)