Retain the standard of sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you. 2 Timothy 1:13-14 (NASB)
X marks the spot…..
Somewhere over the rainbow…..
Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Treasure conjures up many images. A chest full of gold trinkets, beads, coins. A jewelry box containing diamond rings and necklaces. The many irreplaceable things we cling to when loved ones die. Treasures don’t have to be expensive. Where one sees junk, another sees treasure. The value of a treasure depends on its personal worth.
Since my parents died, I’ve clung to things they left behind. I cherish their belongings more since their departure from this earth. I wear a diamond ring given to my mom by my dad on their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. It has monetary value, but its worth escalates for me because it was a part of them.
Through the years I’ve accumulated what I consider precious and priceless treasures. Gifts from my husband, pictures drawn by my children, mementos from my grandchildren, on and on and on. Stuff I embrace. Things I can’t let go. As precious as they are to me, they remain stuff, simply stuff. Why do I cling so tightly to them?
Questioning the worth of it all, I hear words spoken on a mountain by a very wise teacher. “Stop collecting treasures for your own benefit on earth, where moth and rust eat them and where thieves break in and steal them. Instead, collect treasures for yourselves in heaven, where moth and rust don’t eat them and where thieves don’t break in and steal them. Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21)
Jesus spoke these words to His followers in the Sermon on the Mount. He offered eternal life not material life. The accuracy of His words of wisdom rings true today. Why do I allow myself to become ensnared with stuff that does nothing for me? Why is Jesus not the treasure trove I desire? Lord, transform my trivial thoughts to true treasure.
Without warning, memories crop up and I’m reminded of a reliable inheritance. Wonderful memories of attending Sunday school and church with my family. Listening to my dad read daily devotions with prayer at the table. Hearing my mom read Bible stories at bedtime. Not only did my parents endow us with material belongings, they left a legacy of faith in God Almighty. My sisters and I were taught about a God who loved us so much that He sent His Son into the world to save us from sin. We learned about Jesus and He is the greatest treasure of all.
Jesus said He is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6). He came to earth to represent the Heavenly Father. He preached words of eternal life (John 6:68-69). He was, is, and will be the Holy One of God. He is the Word of God that existed with God from the very beginning, the apostle John tells us. He even explains who Jesus is in detail.
Before anything else existed, there was Christ, with God. He has always been alive and is himself God. He created everything there is—nothing exists that he didn’t make. Eternal life is in him, and this life gives light to all mankind. His life is the light that shines through the darkness—and the darkness can never extinguish it. John 1:1-5 (TLB)
These words describe true treasure, God through Jesus Christ. He is a firm foundation, ageless advice, trustworthy truth. He is the Light of the world sent into the world to save the world.
We may possess many worldly goods and personal effects to pass on to our children, but it’s all superfluous. What we consider treasure in this world could get taken from us. It won’t last. It’s replaceable. It’s just stuff.
God has given us Himself through Jesus Christ. He has entrusted us with His truth. We must hold it tightly in our hearts and yet share abundantly with others. Jesus is the heirloom we want to share with future generations. Make Him the treasure you cherish. Make sure He’s the legacy you leave.
Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings. It is good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace, not by eating ceremonial foods, which is of no benefit to those who do so. Hebrews 13:7-9 (NIV)