Read His Words Before Ours!
What images fill your mind when you read the word? Mounds of gold? Rubies, diamonds, or other costly gems? The fanciful Cave of Wonders from Aladdin? Scrooge McDuck and his millions? Captain Jack Sparrow and his endless quest for bounty? Maybe you’re like me, and your mind is instantly filled with glimpses of Gollum and his “Precious.” (Thank you, Mr. Tolkien.)
Interestingly, of all the things most of us picture when it comes to treasure, actual people are close to, if not the, very last on our list.
And yet, treasure is exactly what our Creator God says we are.
“But you are a chosen race,
a royal priesthood,
a holy nation,
a people for His possession,
so that you may proclaim the praises of the One who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9)
Let’s talk about treasure for a minute.
What do people usually do with treasure?
We take care of it, right? We might hide it, or bury it, or (if we’re being current) take it to the bank.
We protect it, keeping it for ourselves.
In Matthew, Jesus weaves the stories of the man who finds a treasure in a field, and of the pearl of great worth. His parables make perfect sense and resonate with us because they fall in line with our natural tendencies to hide, protect, save and keep treasure for ourselves. We might take it out to look at from time to time, but for the most part, we tuck it away and leave it alone.
Here the similarities end, because His ways are not our ways, and His purpose is much greater than anything we could envision. He hides us for a season, as He is working in and on us, but His end game is to reveal His handiwork to all.
Next, He polishes us and purifies us, getting rid of everything marring the beauty and testimony of His transformative, powerful handiwork. If you’ve been through any of His polishing, you know it’s a life-changing, beautifully brutal process by which He eliminates our dross and cultivates His refined glory in our lives.
Scripture clearly shows us we are treasured in God’s eyes and heart…but are we living this truth?
Do you honestly believe you, Dear One, are treasure? I mean, really, deep down in your heart, do you believe it? Your spirit believes it, sure. If you’ve given your life and heart to Him, your spirit is joined to His already by the work of the cross.
But does your soul (your heart, mind, emotions, and will) operate daily in the reality of the truth?
To put it another way, when you look in the mirror, do you wince and turn away?When you think about yourself, do you think in treasured terms?
Is your self-speech lovely and kind? Or is it harsh and critical?
Do you joke about how “terrible” you are, or make light of your shortcomings in a self-effacing kind of way?
Sweet friend. I’m guilty of it, too. But it ought not be this way.
Believe it or not, poor talk and thoughts about ourselves are actually a form of self-idolatry. We are called to align ourselves with His truth, not to adopt whatever bits and pieces of His truth fit our own personal narrative.
When we insist on thinking about ourselves in any way other than what He says about us, we are effectively elevating our own selves, and what we think is true, above our Creator. Ouch.
Friend, how can we expect to be a light and share His love with the world, when we don’t even believe He loves us the way He says He does? How can we ever hope to make a difference in the lives of those in our spheres of influence, or in the lives of our very children, if we do not believe and live what we claim to believe?
And further, how in the world do we expect to genuinely care for others in the Church as treasure, when we don’t even believe we are treasured by Him?
Hard questions, I know. I’m squirming, too.
But Loves, we have to stay here in this uncomfortable place and wrestle with this until we get it.
Because this is big “T” Truth.
Because this is how He loves us, and how He calls us to love: by edifying our brothers and sisters in Christ and treat them as the treasures they are!
Lord, You are worthy of all my praise. I repent of not agreeing with You about who and what You say I am. I break agreement with the negative self-talk I have been using, and I agree with Your Word, which says I am treasured, loved, and a masterpiece. Help me to keep from speaking poorly about myself, and renew my mind with true thoughts in alignment with Your Word. My life belongs to You. In Jesus’s Name, amen.
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!