malachi, distinct, sermon series, devotional

The Day is Coming: Treasured Possession or Ashes in the Garbage Dump

As I was paging through the newspaper this morning looking for my crossword puzzle, a large picture of an older couple jumped out at me. They were sitting on a couch surrounded by paintings, castings, figurines, etc. The caption noted that these were their most prized possessions from 60 years of marriage. Immediately my mind went back to last Sunday when Pastor Chad pointed out that God calls those that trust in Him, His Treasured Possessions.

While many of the items pictured were nice, nothing I saw would have made my top ten list. But, it started me thinking again about treasured possessions. God could have said His treasured possessions are precious metals or gems, fancy structures, or many other physical items—He didn’t—He said His treasured possessions are His relationships with people. That is exciting! It is also thought provoking.

And then, Malachi is pretty blunt as he closes out his book with the rest of the story.

As a teenager, I worked for a ryegrass farmer. In those days, after the grass seed was harvested, the fields were burned. This not only got rid of the straw for which there was no commercial value, it also sanitized the fields, killing molds, diseases, insects, rodents, and other organisms harmful to future crops. The heat was intense, consuming everything in its path. Remarkably, while everything above the ground was destroyed, the grass roots were preserved. Walking through the ash strewn fields after the burn was sobering. The destructive power of fire was awesome…and frightening.

As Malachi talks about the destruction on judgment day, he clearly proclaims that everyone who does not trust in God’s salvation plan will be burned to ashes and trampled underfoot. There will be those in this group who seemingly had everything during their time on earth but will lose everything on that final day. While standing in the middle of hundreds of acres of solid black ash is eerie, and acrid smoke permeates clothing and bombards the nostrils with the stench of destruction and death, it is nothing compared to what is in store for those not accepting God’s gift of salvation.

We all deserve to be ashes in the garbage dump but God provides a way for us to be His Treasured Possessions.

You have a choice—Be one of God’s Treasured Possessions OR ashes under His feet at the final judgment.

Here are four questions to consider this week:

[bra_list style=’arrow-list’]
  • How are you cultivating your relationship with God?
  • How are you developing your relationships with people?
  • How are you specifically helping your family, friends, co-workers, acquaintances in their spiritual journey to have a right relationship with God?[/bra_list]

What do you think?