Meditation Moments 132: "THE MANSION JUST OVER THE HILL"
One day the well-known songwriter Ira Sankey passed a humble house, somewhat run-down, and asked the little girl who was sitting outside of the house if she lived there. She replied, "Yes, but my father is building a nicer home for us just over the hilltop!" -- And this was the inspiration he received for his well-known song, "I've Got a Mansion Just Over the Hilltop":
"I'm satisfied with just a cottage here below,
A little silver and a little gold.
But in that city where the ransom will shine,
I want a gold one that's silver lined.
I've got a mansion just over the hilltop,
In that bright land where we'll never grow old,
And someday yonder, we'll never more wander,
But walk the streets that are purest gold.
Don't think me poor, or deserted, lonely;
I'm not discouraged, I'm Heaven bound!
I'm just a pilgrim in search of a City,
I want a mansion, a harp and a crown!"
Some years ago there was a great fire out on the Pacific coast, in California, which ravaged many of the finest mansions there, many of them at the time worth $50,000, some hundreds of thousands of Dollars, and even a few a half a million Dollars! It was a terrible catastrophe. And in thinking about it, I can't help but wonder:
How many of those who had such mansion there also had a mansion over There in the Father's House? I'm sure that many of the 400 who lost their homes, that there were some of them who have a mansion over There. But there are others, and some of those in the entertainment world, to whom life's just a round of pleasure and selfish living. But perhaps there were some during that inferno, who thought of the mansion over There. One man told of how this was the second time he had lost everything. Many people explained, "I've lost everything; all is lost."
Of course, that is according to how you look at Earthly possessions. If the heart and soul are set upon Earthly possessions, then when you lose them, all is lost. If there has been a misplaced attention -- the emphasis in life on just things, home and possessions -- then when the loss comes, the hurt and the tearing loose from such things you love is something terrible. But it's because the emphasis has been in the wrong place, on the temporal instead of the eternal.
Jesus said, "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." -- Mat.6:21. "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's House are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you." -- Jn.14:1,2.
"Lay not up for yourselves treasures on Earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt" (and I might add, "and fire burns), "and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in Heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." -- Mat.6:19-21.
What do you treasure most? Where is your treasure? Have you laid up treasures in Heaven? You may be poor and yet have treasure in Heaven. This is not a question of poverty or riches. It's a question of: Have you laid up treasures in Heaven?
I don't think God puts any premium on poverty, nor do riches shut the door of Heaven, though Christ made it very plain that it's hard for the rich to enter. He Himself said, "How hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the Kingdom of God." -- Mark 10:24. Yet we've known some wonderful Christians who are rich. It is possible! It's just according to where you put the emphasis, and whether you put God first. But notice He says, "How hard is it for them that trust in riches." That's the word -- "trust." It's where you put the trust, the trust in riches.
In Luke 12:16-21, the rich man with many barns was called a fool because he was not rich towards God, not because he had riches. In calling him a fool, the Lord said, "So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich towards God." There's the crux of the whole matter: "Not rich towards God."
Joey Brown told of his lovely home burned to the ground, and with it his scores of trophies -- almost 100 of them. He had lost them all. He prized them so highly because he wanted to leave them to his children and his grandchildren. But Joey can leave them a better heritage, and so can you and I! -- A better heritage than such trophies!
We can leave them eternal treasures, instilling into them faith in God and confidence in the blessed Book of God, and all the joys of real Salvation through Jesus Christ, so they'll be rich toward God and have a mansion in Heaven!
I've been searching my own heart, to see if I'm deeply, truly rich towards God. What about searching your heart? Are you putting your emphasis on the right things? -- Eternal things? Or are you putting your emphasis on material things, occupying all of your time and thought with the material? If so, then you're not rich towards God. You're not laying up treasures in Heaven.
Paul said, "I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for Whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ." -- Phil.3:8. Can you say amen to that?
May you have a mansion over There! He wants you to! He loves you, and He's still on the Throne, and prayer changes things.
Copyright (c) 1998 by The Family -- This file has not been proofread.