Seoul, South Korean day-laborer, Ahn, was hired to dig up an apricot tree and move it from a garlic field. When he did, he found a plastic box, which he discarded as trash. He didn’t know that it contained $270 thousand in cash. Moreover, he didn’t know that it was only one of 27, which contained all in all $10 million. Jesus once described the kingdom of heaven as like a treasure discovered in a field. The treasure hunter sold all he had and bought the field and thus was filled with joy for he owned the treasure. Things didn’t turn out so well for Ahn. The police arrested the gangsters and owner of the field and the money was turned over to the government. Ahn was cleared of any criminal activity, but ended up with nothing to show for his effort. When it comes to finding treasure, believe I’ll stick to the kingdom of heaven. This is Just-a-Minute with Ed Boggess
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It is impossible to consider a history of the Americas apart from treasure.
When Christopher Columbus landed on the shores of the Bahamas on Oct. 12, 1492, he was looking for two things: he sought a shorter route to India, and he was looking for treasure.
The conquistadors brought religion to the land of the Aztecs and Incas, but they were principally looking for gold to take back to Spain to fund that country’s navy. In addition to the Spanish language, they brought European diseases, such as smallpox, that wiped out both native cultures.
Men have sought and laid up treasures for as long as there have been human beings, only to find their lives gone and death at the door. Columbus died May 20, 1506 still believing he had found a shorter route to India. One of the conquistadors, Francisco Pizzarro, was assassinated.
Jesus talked about treasure, too, but it was the kind of treasure that could not be stolen and one which could not be destroyed by time and decay. The Lord encouraged us to use a different banking system that of the world.
Jesus said, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal,” (Matthew 6:19). He knew that many people stored things on earth they will never use, things that will never benefit them or anyone else. When talking about the rich fool who built more storehouses to hold his treasures, Jesus said, “Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?”(Luke 12:20).
People sometimes say, “If I can’t take it with me, I’m not going.” Of course, they’re wrong about that. They will, indeed, go, and they won’t be taking anything with them. The idea of a hearse towing a trailer is so absurd it’s laughable, but isn’t that the way many think? Isn’t that how they live?
Oh, how much happier we’d be in this life and in eternity if we heeded the words of Jesus, who said, “but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also,” (Matthew 6:20).
Where is your treasure? What are you storing up and when do you think it will make you prosper? Nothing on this earth can help provide one bit of assurance in eternity, except the Lord Jesus and his body, the church. As the hymn says, “Live for Jesus, oh, my brother; his disciple ever be. Render not to any other what alone the Lord’s should be.”
Chef Albert Grabham of the New House Hotel in Wales was concerned that the restaurant’s New Year’s Eve earnings would attract the attention of thieves. So he came up with a clever solution. He hid the cash in the oven. However, it didn’t turn out so well. The next day, absent-mindedly he fired up the same oven to prepare New Year’s Day lunch and burned up the profit. Now you may ask how could anyone be so stupid. But the fact is we all do foolish things and forget salient facts. One of the most important and obvious is the fact that we live until we die and then what? Are you ready for what’s next? This is Just-A-Minute with Ed Boggess
Susan Maginn’s grandmother lived through the depression and knew what it meant to do without. Perhaps that contributed to her obsession. She was a hoarder. She saved everything, whether it was useful or not, just in case someone might need it. Moreover she was organized. Things were boxed and labeled. When the family emptied out the basement. They found one box full of little strings. The box was neatly labeled: “Strings too short to use.” I can make allowance for those who endured the Great Depression, but to the rest of us, hear the words of Jesus: “lay not up treasures for yourselves on earth, but lay your treasures up in heaven.” This is Just-A-Minute with Ed Boggess
The best picture of me is the one not taken. :) I’m afraid the Lord didn’t bless me with good looks. However, I do treasure the picture taken by an Olan Mills studio photographer of my wife and I approximately two years after we were married (1978 vintage).
Hey, I’m on a roll! Two posts in one day. :)
This morning our family worshiped with the brethren at the Njiro congregation. We always enjoy worshiping here. Though they be few in number, there are some good people here. During one of the prayers offered this morning, my heart was struck at some words which were uttered.
But first, you must understand context. The home of the one who led the prayer is kind of like “The Projects” of Tanzania – rows of apartment-like dwellings for factory workers. Their space consists of two very small rooms. There is a small cubby hole where some food preparation is done. There is a tiny closet-sized toilet room, with just a hole in the ground. No sink. No shower. No running water. No electricity.
Now, with that in mind, think about this. Our brother prayed that we should not lay up our treasures on earth, because there are thieves and these earthly things will decay, but we should lay up our treasures in heaven. Isn’t that humbling to you? It is to me.
We may look at conditions in which our Tanzanian brethren live and think they are very poor. By U.S. standards they are. But U.S. standards don’t matter in the least. They are not “the” standard. George once asked his class of preacher students how many consider themselves to be poor. None of them thought so.
Just maybe some of our brethren in third-world countries have a better handle on what it means to lay up our treasures in heaven. They don’t have a lot of “things” in which to put their trust, but hope for a better place is very real to them.
What things do you treasure most? Can they be stolen? Can they rust? Will they decay? Maybe it’s time to reevaluate where we are storing our treasures, Matthew 6:19-20.
May you all have a blessed week.
A single key word: “deny” (Matthew 16:24).
We must be willing to deny ourselves of temporary worldly treasures in order to attain those eternal treasures (Matthew 6:20; 1 Timothy 6:17-19; 1 Peter 1:3-4; cf. Hebrews 11:24-26).