I love beautiful and sparkly things! A treasure chest full of jewels excites my imagination. Just imagine finding such a thing. What would you do with it?
Put it away unopened?
Open it once in a while, glance at the contents and then stick it back on the shelf?
Take it out often, lift out one piece at a time, and examine it in the light from all angles, appreciating and admiring the brilliance of the jewels and the intricacy of their settings?
Put on a piece and wear it, letting its beauty complement your own and allowing others to share in the pleasure of viewing such magnificence?
Okay, I don’t have a treasure like that. But I do have a better one—a Book that contains the secrets of life, joy, wisdom, peace, and much more!
So what do I do with it?
Do I just keep it unopened somewhere in the cupboard?
Do I open it once in a while, glance at the contents, then stick it back on the shelf and go my merry way?
Do I pick it up often, read a bit at a time (or a whole chunk), and examine it carefully in the light of the Holy Spirit’s teaching within me, growing in love for the One who crafted this treasure and getting to know Him better through what it reveals about Him?
Do I “wear it” by letting it shape who I am and what I do, how I think and act? Are others encouraged and drawn to the Artist through the display of His beauty in me?
“Your instructions are more valuable to me than millions in gold and silver.” (Psalm 119:72)
A string of perfect pearls, added one at a time. A chest full of dazzling gems, each one sought, saved for, collected, and enjoyed. I love beautiful things, especially jewels. One of my favorite places is the Smithsonian museum where dazzling treasures of this sort have been put on display for ordinary people like me to enjoy. My own jewels consist of my engagement and wedding ring and a tiny ruby in a necklace given by my grandparents for graduation. Oh yes, and three necklaces of inexpensive—but real!—pearls of irregular shapes and great character.
But, as I realized this morning, I am accumulating a treasure much more lasting and precious than jewels. Lately I have resumed the practice of memorizing Bible passages. Having given up on it years ago, assuming that I was too old for anything to stick anymore, I was recently challenged to join a group of others my age, and off we went! Each verse I store in my mind and heart is another rare pearl strung together together into a priceless necklace to be taken out and enjoyed anytime, anywhere. And every passage learned is another unique piece of jewelry to prize, use, and enjoy. As I display these through my life (not just around my neck!) I know that my character will become more beautiful, and I will more closely resemble my Heavenly Father who gave them to me.
And this treasure is available to anyone, not just the wealthy. Well, I must qualify that. Today I participated in the dedication of a newly completed translation of the New Testament into a minority language of the country where I live. And there I was reminded that almost 2000 languages in the world are still without any portion of the Bible. Hearing this, I am challenged 1) to appreciate the treasure of God’s word in my own language all the more, and 2) to renew my efforts to help make it available to the 180,000,000 people who do not yet have access to it in the language of their heart.
Your teachings are worth more to me
than thousands of pieces of gold and silver. Psalm 119:72