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What Should I Do to Get These Heavenly Goods?

{Since the Heavenly Trade Is the Best Trade…

Exhortation and Counsel to Professors of Christianity

Work to Obtain Heavenly Treasures

What Should I Do to Get These Heavenly Goods?}


QUESTION: But what should I do to get my soul furnished with these heavenly goods?


If my heart does not deceive me, I would gladly be enriched with every grace, ability, and accomplishment so that I may discharge my duty and please, honor, and enjoy God. It would also be for the welfare of my immortal soul. But I do not know how to attain to this mercy for which I long.


ANSWER: If you want to be enriched with heavenly treasures and bring in those goods, then:


Answer 1: Maintain a Sense of Your Own Needs

{Since the Heavenly Trade Is the Best Trade…

Exhortation and Counsel to Professors of Christianity

Work to Obtain Heavenly Treasures

What Should I Do to Get These Heavenly Goods?

Answer 1: Maintain a Sense of Your Own Needs}


If you want to be enriched with heavenly treasures and obtain those goods, first maintain a constant sense of your own needs and emptiness. “What is crooked cannot be made straight, and what is lacking cannot be counted” (Ecclesiastes 1:15 ESV). Look over your souls every day and see your poverty. Look at your understandings and see how little light is there. Look into your minds and consider how little spirituality is there, how little warmth and heavenly heat is in your affections, how little truth and sincerity is in your spirits, how little tenderness is in your consciences, how noncompliant your wills are to divine things. Consider what is within your souls: the smallness of your faith, humility, meekness, fear of the Lord, zeal, spiritual life, spiritual strength, faithfulness, and steadfastness. This lack, if truly seen and felt, should impel people who have any spiritual life at all to not lie still or be content until utmost means are used to obtain supplies. This is especially true if people understand the excellence of these spiritual perfections, how important to the soul they are, and how absolutely necessary it is to have every grace for duty, peace, comfort, prosperity, and salvation. It was a false conceit that they had fullness in themselves that kept back Laodicea from seeking Christ’s treasures (Revelation 3:17–18).712 The blind opinion that the Pharisees had of their good state prejudiced them against being convicted of their sin and against the counsel of Christ toward their cure (John 8:33, 39, 41–43).713 If the Corinthian saints had not been so falsely full and rich in their own eyes, they would not have disparaged the instituted means of their soul’s good nor contended with one another when they should have been contending for higher measures of grace and godliness (1 Corinthians 1:11–12).714 It is the poor who are the laborers in God’s vineyard (Zechariah 11.11).715 Those who daily feel the need for relief for their souls will take any pains to enjoy relief (Isaiah 41:17).716


Answer 2: Believe in Christ’s Fullness

{Since the Heavenly Trade Is the Best Trade…

Exhortation and Counsel to Professors of Christianity

Work to Obtain Heavenly Treasures

What Should I Do to Get These Heavenly Goods?

Answer 2: Believe in Christ’s Fullness}


If you want to be enriched with heavenly treasures and obtain those goods, then believe in Christ’s fullness and that He is able to enrich you and is willing to help you (Hebrews 11:6).717 This brought Naaman to the prophet Elisha for the cure of his leprosy. He believed his servant’s report that Elisha was able and cherished hopes that he was willing to heal him. “She said to her mistress, ‘I wish that my master were with the prophet who is in Samaria! Then he would cure him of his leprosy’” (2 Kings 5:3 NASB). Someone told this to her lord and thus he ventured out (2 Kings 5:5).718 A persuasion of Christ’s ability brought the leper to Him for cleansing. “And behold, a leper came and worshiped Him, saying, ‘Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean’” (Matthew 8:2 NKJV). He was persuaded that Christ was able and had hopes that He was willing; he would never have gone to Him otherwise. A thorough belief in Christ’s ability to help will also make a soul cherish hopes of His willingness. “When Jesus departed from there, two blind men followed Him, crying out and saying, ‘Son of David, have mercy on us!’ And when He had come into the house, the blind men came to Him. And Jesus said to them, ‘Do you believe that I am able to do this?’ They said to Him, ‘Yes, Lord’” (Matthew 9:27–28 NKJV). So the blind men believed Christ’s ability to help them, and they had hope of His mercy too, that He would do it. This hope made them not only go to Christ, but to follow Him [to the house]. There are people who pretend to believe in Christ’s ability to save and sanctify them, but they question His willingness to satisfy the longing soul and save all who come to God by Him—they do not have real faith.719 If you believe He is able to furnish you with all you need, then also believe His willingness to supply all your needs—you who sincerely wait on Him.


712Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked—I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see” (Revelation 3:17–18 NKJV).

71333They answered Him, ‘We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, “You will be made free”?’” 39They answered and said to Him, ‘Abraham is our father.’ Jesus said to them, ‘If you were Abraham’s children, you would do the works of Abraham.’”

714For I have been informed concerning you, my brethren, by Chloe’s people, that there are quarrels among you. Now I mean this, that each one of you is saying, ‘I am of Paul,’ and ‘I of Apollos,’ and ‘I of Cephas,’ and ‘I of Christ’” (1 Corinthians 1:11–12 NASB).

715So it was broken on that day. Thus the poor of the flock, who were watching me, knew that it was the word of the Lord” (Zechariah 11:11 NKJV). It is unclear how this verse is applicable to the topic at hand.

716The poor and needy seek water, but there is none, Their tongues fail for thirst. I, the Lord, will hear them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them” (Isaiah 41:17 NKJV).

717And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him” (Hebrews 11:6 ESV).

718Then the king of Aram said, ‘Go now, and I will send a letter to the king of Israel.’ He departed and took with him ten talents of silver and six thousand shekels of gold and ten changes of clothes” (2 Kings 5:5 NASB).

719The issue here is that such people pretend to believe in God’s power, but mistrust His promises. Such mistrust is the opposite of faith. (This kind of mistrust is not to be confused with a person who trusts God’s promises, but in the case of a conditional promise, is unsure whether he or she meets the condition.)

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