Tag Archives: scripture

Treasure

We treasure the word of God not only by reading the words of the scriptures, but by studying them. We may be nourished more by pondering a few words, allowing the Holy Ghost to make them treasures to us, than to pass quickly and superficially over whole chapters of scripture. ~Henry B. Eyring

“These are two or three hundred years old.”

“And your mother lets you touch them!?”

I was teaching one of my ESL students about the idea of “passing down” things from one generation to another. He showed he understood by sharing some articles his family has in a box. He shuffled through the box as if he touched 300 year old items every day.

Well, he lives in China; perhaps he does.

Hilkiah the high priest found a book in the Temple. He knew it was the Book of the Law and very important. When the king sent his secretary to check on business at the Temple, Hilkiah passed the book along to Shaphan, the secretary.

Shaphan recognized its importance and passed it along to the king.

King Josiah also understood its importance. He feared for his people because they had not kept the Law for many generations. King Josiah sent men to the prophetess Huldah to find out what they should do.

How long had the book survived?

Hundreds of years.

How long had it been since anyone read it?

Hundreds of years.

So how did the men know to go visit Huldah?

Some people had hidden the Book of the Law in their hearts. They had saved it, passing it from one generation to another. A treasure not hidden away, but opened for children’s hands to thumb through, to play with, to ask questions about, to learn from and to teach.

Huldah was one of those people. She knew the ancient words.

Where do you keep the ancient treasure? Is it collecting dust on a shelf?

Do your children know where to find it? Do they play with it and thumb through it with confidence?

Do people look for you to share the ancient wisdom? Are you known as a prophet who knows the Lord?

Have you obeyed the command of God . . .

“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” Joshua 1:8 ESV

The treasure is waiting to be opened.


“Heaven and earth will disappear, but my words will never disappear.” Mt 24:35 ISV

Forgetful Remembering

Knowledge is of no value unless you put it into practice. ~Anton Chekhov

I have a pair of green leggings with purple and gray flowers. I love those leggings, so soft and comfortable. I would really like to have several shirts that match so I can spend days in the pants unnoticed.

But every time I go to the store to buy some tunics or over-sized shirts, I buy the wrong color.

Why?

Because in my mind’s eye the pants are yellow with purple flowers.

What is it that blocks my mind? I think it is a pair of stirrup pants I had in high school that were pink and yellow. Even now, sitting here in white and pink pjs writing about green, purple, and gray pants — they are yellow.

One of the New Testament authors warns of this crazy phenomena. He makes a ludicrous statement that sounds impossible.

” . . .he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.” James 1:23b-24 ESV

How could you ever stare in a mirror and then forget what you look like? James says it happens by looking at God and his Word and then walking away from it until you chance to look again. The time in-between is empty, thoughtless time filled with the wrong memories.

God tells us to care for those less fortunate than ourselves, so you spend the last of the paycheck on a splurge of popcorn and a movie. Not such a  bad thing until you realize that the bulk of the paycheck was spent on restaurants and credit card bills.

God tells us to comfort the sick and visit the prisoners. So you comfort your children and visit the zoo.

He says pray for your enemies, and you pray that they get slugged upside the head.

Be content is translated give me more contents.

Love your neighbor becomes lie to your neighbor.

And your green leggings are now yellow.

The answer to such ridiculous confusion is found in the verses all around our mystical mirror:

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.” James 1:22-25 ESV

The mirror is the Word. When you look at Jesus, when you read the Bible, you see what you are supposed to be AND do. Without the “do” part it’s all too easy to forget what you should be.

Are your green pants yellow?


Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. John 13:14 NIV

Light

Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. Gen 1:2-4

The shadows lengthen and Darkness falls quietly, quickly, almost imperceptibly. It is late in the year: the time when living room lamps are always lit, candles glow in the windows, and a warm fire flickers in the fireplace. Yet, the Darkness penetrates every room like a cold draft.

“What comes out of a man is what makes him ‘unclean.’ For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance, and folly. All these evils come from inside and make a man ‘unclean.'” Mk 7:20-23

Then a tiny babe brings Light and laughter into our lives. His impending arrival causes people to celebrate, rejoice, be generous, even dare to laugh at the Darkness. The babe is Light itself robed in newness that shines and sparkles and glitters dispelling the cold draft and warming each soul from its very center.

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Then Jesus told them, “You are going to have the light just  a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. The man who walks in the dark does not know where he is going. Put your trust in the light while you have it, so that you may become sons of light.” Jn 12:35-36

Every day following the light lasts longer, shines brighter. The nights get shorter; the darkness becomes less dreary. The Light reaches out from the child and enters the hearts of those who hold him close. Their faces glow with warmth, hope, possibilities, until the whole Earth bursts forth with his newness, his Light.

. . . shepherds who feed only themselves. . . clouds without rain. . . autumn trees without fruit. . . wild waves of the sea foaming up their shame. . . wandering stars

for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever. Jude

The Darkness screams in defiance. It will not be swallowed by this Light. But the child has grown stronger, no more a child, but a man, a God. Darkness attacks mercilessly, unfaintingly, completely.

In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has NOT overcome it. Jn 1:4-5

Yet it does not win. The Light has entered the world and Darkness must sound the retreat.

I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else. C. S. Lewis  

I believe in Jesus and I believe the Son has risen; not only because I see him, but because by him I see everything else.