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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Treasure hunters

If we are searching for natural treasures of this earth, we go looking in places where they are to be found. Precious gems are deep underground buried in rock and shale or tucked away in a little clam like creature deep underwater.  Precious metals are intertwined in a matrix of rock buried in the hearts of mountains.
We don’t expect to find those treasures sitting in our arm chair before a cozy fire.  If we want them we must go looking in the right places, deep in mines, drilling digging searching.  We bestir ourself and go after them.  Talking about searching does no good.  Speculating with others doesn’t help. Reading stories of men who found treasures is encouraging, but they put no diamonds in our hand. We must put the effort and sweat and time into finding them ourselves.
It is the same way with the treasures of Christ Jesus. If we want the pearls of great price and the gold tried in the fire they only come through our effort and sweat and time spent in the Word and in prayer before Him.  Talking about the riches of faith is of no use in establishing our own.  Speculating about the blessings He has doesn’t bring them showering over us. Reading and hearing accounts of the faith in other men and women doesn’t give us the faith to see the same miracles in our own. 
We only grow in Christ and achieve a strong faith in Him by spending time in the Word—not in other’s men’s explanations of it or in a short ‘devotion’ from a handy little booklet.  We must spend time reading and reading and reading the Bible while the Holy Spirit points out the gems of understanding he has particularly for us.  Then we gather those into our heart treasure to be held and pondered.  After years of reading and study with that great Comforter we find we have accumulated a treasure of gold tried in the fire and our faith will shine as a beacon to those weighted down with doubt and worry.
We live in a day of immediate gratification.  We want our goodies NOW.  Kids don’t think the should deliver papers or mow lawns to save for their expensive toys; the expect their parents to hand them over.   Teens don’t want to practice abstinence until marriage, they want their sexual gratification NOW. Young marrieds don’t want to start our in a three room apartment with an old stove and refrigerator and a table that tips at one corner.  They demand a house as nice as the ones they see on television, decorated with expensive furniture.  And they want it all NOW.
We have applied the same demanding greediness to our spiritual life.  We want to come to the Lord and immediately have a complete grasp of His Word.  We want to be able to pray and have our prayers answered immediately if not sooner.  We want to expound the scriptures to our friends and be regarded as a Man or Woman of Faith.  We want our treasures before digging them from the depths of the scripture.  We want the pearl of great price with out diving into the Word.  We want the gold without the refining fire.
It doesn’t happen that way.  We have to spend the time searching the Word.  We have to spend time in the fire.    “. . .unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;  3 In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.  Colossians 2:2-3    That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: I Peter 1:7

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