Buried Treasures     

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   Back in 1960, my father bought a pale blue Chevy pick-up truck. He loved his truck and used it for just about everything, including regular trips to the county dump. Every few weeks, I would climb into the cab with him and off we’d go with a truckload of garden debris — tree trimmings, grass, & shrubbery clippings. Arriving at the dump, it was always a busy place with huge tractors pushing the trash around, making room for all the incoming trucks. My dad would back in, open the tailgate and began the process of unloading. 

   Meanwhile, I was always intrigued by the “treasures” people had dumped off – lamps, broken toys, furniture, patio chairs, old bicycles, etc. It always stuck me that “back when,” these items had been new and cherished but now discarded and worthless! Treasures buried. 

   The definition of a treasure is basically “something of great worth or value.” We’ve all heard the saying: “You can’t take it with you” but people over the ages have certainly tried to do just that. Sandra West was buried sitting in the drivers seat of her 1964 Ferrari. John Jacobs was buried with his cell phone. His wife pays the bill monthly and the number is even etched on his gravestone.

   Thousands of years ago people were buried with what are called ‘grave goods.’ Their graves were looted for these pricy items – gold & silver, precious stones, ornate beds, chests, chairs & clothing., and beer. Lots and lots of beer! They too thought they could take treasures with them.

   Too easily we fall into the trap the world sets and the trap the devil wants you to accept as truth – that we as humans measure success in one of three different ways. We either measure it by power, by pleasure or by possessions – our treasures! Think about it. People buy pricy cars, magnificent homes, expensive jewelry & clothing. Through commercials or magazines, “stuff” is constantly thrown at us, leading many to believe these are the measure of our personal success.  

   There’s certainly nothing inherently wrong with any of these things – it’s where we place them in our hearts that makes all the difference! Loosing perspective about their real or imagined value is what the Bible warns us about. Matthew asks that pointed question of the ages: “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul?” 

   So why are we here if it isn’t to have fun or possess power or gain lots & lots of stuff? If your job or career makes you money to live on, that’s great – but you are not here to be a hair dresser or a mechanic or a computer tech etc. You are here to fulfill a Divine purpose. It may be to help others. It may be to serve others, but I can guarantee you, it’s also to honor the God that made you! 

   The dictionary’s definition of materialism is pretty interesting. Check this out: Materialism is “devotion to material wealth and possessions at the expense of spiritual or intellectual values.” Whoa!  Stay a million miles away from that baby!! I believe darkness uses the trap of materialism to catch many unsuspecting people. If you get caught in this trap you will sacrifice your family and your faith as you pursue the goal of getting more and more…stuff.

   The thing we need to understand is that when it’s all said and done, we really can’t take it with us. I heard that at the funeral of Aristotle Onassis, there was one question that was being asked by those who had been invited to the ceremony. Again and again, people were heard to ask: “How much did he leave?” The answer, of course, was “He left everything!”

   So one last great Biblical take-a-away for you from Jesus Himself: “Don’t hoard treasure down here where it gets eaten by moths and corroded by rust or – worse – stolen by burglars. Stockpile treasure in heaven, where it’s safe from moth and rust and burglars. It’s obvious isn’t it? The place where your treasure is, there your heart will be also!” Selah!

Bob and Susana beckett pastor The Dwelling Place City Church at 27100 Girard Street in Hemet, CA.  For more information you may contact them at DPciychurch.org

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