As we close out our series on drawing near to Christ, we have one more aspect to look at. We draw near to Christ by focusing on Jesus, by turning from sin, by focusing on the good things, and finally, by serving the Lord with our time and resources.
The more we invest ourselves in something, the deeper we hold it in our heart. This principle is especially true when it comes to spiritual matters. Jesus urges us to “seek His kingdom” and use our resources to serve others (Luke 12:31-33). He follows this immediately by saying, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (v. 34). We find the similar phrase in Matthew 6 in conjunction with the instruction, “Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven” (Matthew 6:20, 21).
But what does it mean to store up heavenly treasures? Jesus is not speaking about our salvation—that was finished at the cross. What He is talking about is how we use the resources He has blessed us with. Whom are we serving? Are we only serving ourselves, or do we steward our money and possessions for His glory and the service of others?
In 1 Timothy, Paul shares instructions to those “who are rich in this present world…to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future” (1 Timothy 6:17-19). Possessions and money are not themselves evil—they can be tools for God’s service. As Christians, we are called to steward these gifts as a way to serve the Lord.
We can serve Jesus in other ways besides those just involving money. Spending time with others, encouraging them, pointing them to the Lord is a way to serve God. Paul said that “God…comforted us by the coming of Titus” (2 Corinthians 7:6, 7). We can—and should—invest ourselves in the lives of others, especially those of our local church. As we serve God’s people with the mindset of serving the Lord, we will find ourselves growing closer to Him.
This service doesn’t have to be some great or amazing act by worldly standards. Simply taking a few moments to send someone a text message or give them a call can go a long way. Take time to visit a shut in. Share a meal with someone. The list can go on and on. Whatever the specific act is, we must serve authentically from the heart, recognizing that our service to one another is really a service to God.
Jesus Himself said this. He will say to the righteous at the final judgement, “To the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me” (Matthew 25:40). Contrarywise, if we don’t “love” our brothers, we “cannot love God” (1 John 4:20). As we learn to love and serve one another, we will grow in our love toward the Lord.
This principle is so multifaceted, but it comes down to the basic fact that we must look beyond ourselves. The blessings God has given us are not so that we become self-indulgent. Rather, we are given a stewardship to use resources in His service. We have been given time, but that is not so that we serve ourselves. We are stewards of the 24 hours God blesses us with each day. We have giftings, abilities, and strengths, but those shouldn’t be sources of pride. Rather, we are to steward them as we serve others. As we faithfully serve the Lord with this mindset, we will find ourselves drawing closer to Him. We will be storing heavenly treasures.
As we close this study, let’s bring this all back together. We are called in Hebrews 10:22 to “draw near.” But how do we do that? Well, primarily that is by fixing our spiritual eyes on Christ. In other words, “consider…Jesus” (Hebrews 3:1). As we learn to gaze at Him, we must turn away from sin. He died to free us from our transgressions, and must forsake all and follow Him. We guard against having a law-type attitude by choosing to focus on the good. We learn to value what Jesus values, to cherish what He cherishes, love what He loves, and so on. And finally, we steward the resources and time He gives us, knowing that doing so knits our hearts closer to His. We are learning to surrender our own will as we follow the will of Christ. All of these are important aspects of drawing near, and there are probably other ways as well. The point is that we fix our eyes on Jesus, praise Him for the salvation He has brought, then choose to obediently—and faithfully—draw near to Him.