" For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6:21
Over centuries people have given their lives to find all sorts of things. Gold has inspired many to give up everything to adventure, pan, dig in hopes of a new life. What are you giving your life to find? What if we saw our Bible as something to adventure in, dig through and find immeasurable wealth? Read below to find encouragement to do just that.
In the mid to late 1800’s the good news of free gold led many gold seekers to journey west and north in hopes of finding their share in the motherlode. Prospectors learned to pan and surface sluice, techniques used to filter out fine gold. But this gold was not as valuable as coarse gold (nuggets). Coarse gold required much more work both to find and to extract. There are innumerable stories of adventure, struggle, endless panning and even lives lost in the search for riches. A few got lucky and rich, most saw their dreams die and their savings evaporate.
As you walked to your car this morning, or down the sidewalk in your community did you look down and find a nugget of gold? That would be amazing if you did! Most likely you would think me crazy if I asked you that question. Gold doesn’t lie around on the street for anyone to find, otherwise prospectors would never have risked so much and travelled so far. Their conviction that they would have a new life once they had the gold kept them searching and sacrificing.
Our hope for a new life is in Christ. We are seeking his kingdom and hoping to find a relationship with Him and in the process are transformed into his image. How can I write these things? Only because someone else panned and dug, painstakingly translating Hebrew, translating Greek into English. Devoting their life to sharing what God had revealed to them through His own word. What a gift! That the treasure found in God’s word was never meant to be amassed and hoarded! It is designed to be shared and in the sharing more wealth is found!
“Instruction from your lips is better for me than thousands of gold and silver pieces.” -Psalm 119:72
Unfortunately, with the rush for gold came another discovery, fool’s gold. Pyrite sparkled and shimmered to a weary prospectors eyes, but always fell apart under the scrutiny of comparison to the real thing.
Endless sermon’s, blog posts, email devotionals and YouTube messages sparkle before our eyes every day. They can be helpful tools to expose us to fellow diggers, seeking the kingdom and sharing the gold they have discovered. These resources can also be a distraction, taking the time we could spend digging into God’s word and doing some work ourselves. Or worse, the author may have dug up something that on first listen seems like God’s words, but when pursued further and compared to what God has said in the bible shows itself to fall apart under the scrutiny of comparison to the real thing.
“If we want to know Christ and his salvation it is to the bible we must turn. For the bible is God’s own portrait of Christ. We can never know him otherwise. Just as in a children’s treasure hunt one is sometimes fortunate enough to stumble immediately upon the treasure, one more usually has to follow laboriously from clue to clue until at last the treasure is found so it is with bible reading. Some verses point one directly to Christ, others are remote clues. But a painstaking pursuit of the clues will ultimately lead every reader to that treasure whose worth is beyond price.” Excerpt from “Understanding the Bible, John Stott”
Today, the good news of Jesus Christ leads many kingdom seekers to pick up their bibles to pan and sluice and dig. In this brief article I hope to inspire you to be one of them. If you’re already digging, carry on.
Opportunities for action, how to let this article move you:
Find the scriptures that I am referring to in the third paragraph. Come tell me about the search.
Bring your bible on Sunday.
Get a notebook and bring it Sunday so you can write down scripture references and follow up on what the Pastor is telling you.
Read your bible daily. Let repetition and meditation on the word make you like a tree planted beside flowing streams. (Hint: this refers to a Psalm…which one?)