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“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, 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.”
(Matthew 8:19-21)

Toward the end of Paul’s final letter, his second letter to Timothy, he spoke of knowing his end was near, and that he’d fought a good fight. Just a bit later in the letter, he says those in ministry with him are all gone, and he asks Timothy to come to him. I wondered if he were lonely, and needed companionship as he faced his final days on Earth. Yet he says to bring along Mark, as both Timothy and Mark would be useful to his ministry. Finally he gives greeting from others of the believers in Rome. He wasn’t lonely; he wanted to continue the work he’d been involved in, and only they could assist, as he was in prison. Paul wasn’t settling in on his past accomplishments, his crowns earned; Paul needed to continue the good fight to the very end.Three wooden crosses in Zervynos, Lithuania, 1...

Paul was storing up treasures in Heaven. He was also leaving something behind. Here’s the lyrics to a country song, Three Wooden Crosses, by Randy Travis, in which he sings, “it’s not what you take. . .It’s what you leave behind.”

A farmer and a teacher, a hooker and a preacher,
Ridin’ on a midnight bus bound for Mexico.
One’s headed for vacation, one for higher education,
An’ two of them were searchin’ for lost souls.
That driver never ever saw the stop sign.
An’ eighteen wheelers can’t stop on a dime.

There are three wooden crosses on the right side of the highway,
Why there’s not four of them, Heaven only knows.
I guess it’s not what you take when you leave this world behind you,
It’s what you leave behind you when you go.

That farmer left a harvest, a home and eighty acres,
The faith an’ love for growin’ things in his young son’s heart.
An’ that teacher left her wisdom in the minds of lots of children:
Did her best to give ’em all a better start.
An’ that preacher whispered: “Can’t you see the Promised Land?”
As he laid his blood-stained bible in that hooker’s hand.

There are three wooden crosses on the right side of the highway,
Why there’s not four of them, Heaven only knows.
I guess it’s not what you take when you leave this world behind you,
It’s what you leave behind you when you go.

That’s the story that our preacher told last Sunday.
As he held that blood-stained bible up,
For all of us to see.
He said: “Bless the farmer, and the teacher, an’ the preacher”
“Who gave this Bible to my mamma,
“Who read it to me.”

There are three wooden crosses on the right side of the highway,
Why there’s not four of them, now I guess we know.
It’s not what you take when you leave this world behind you,
It’s what you leave behind you when you go.

There are three wooden crosses on the right side of the highway.

Lord Bless, Keep, Shine. . .