Summary: Out of all His creation, what could God possibly value enough to place with his treasures?
God’s Treasure Chest
(Adapted from an article by Larry Libby, “Discipleship Journal” Issue 139)
SCRIPTURE READING: Malachi 3:16-17
While growing up, I kept a cigar box hidden away in the bottom of a drawer. That cigar box was filled with my TREASURES. These were important mementos that I considered worthy of treasuring and protecting. As I recall, I filled it with things like my baptism certificate, a silver dollar that an uncle gave me, a patch from my dad’s army uniform, my savings account pass book, a buckeye (because I was born in Ohio), report cards, my Cub-Scout Weblos patch. And, of course, the one Award I received in a school assembly: my 7th grade Perfect Attendance award. I don’t really know what became of that treasured cigar box. But those were my treasures when I was a 12-year-old boy.
Remembering how important that box of treasures was to me as a kid, I wondered: If God had a treasure chest, what would be inside that chest?
One thing is for sure. Anything in that Heavenly box of Treasures would be something God Himself had created. Everything of worth, or beauty, comes straight from God. James, the brother of Jesus, summed it up this way in James 1:16-17: Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights.
So, out of all His creation, what could God possibly value enough to place with his treasures?
We know that God wouldn’t place anything in His Treasure Chest because he NEEDED it to get by. God doesn’t need anything. He is utterly complete, perfect, and self-sufficient. He said as much in Psalm 50:9-12: “I have no need of a bull from your stall or of goats from your pens, for every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills…. If I were hungry, I would not tell you, for the world is mine, and all that is in it.”
Fair enough. And yet… The scriptures tell us that God’s love for his redeemed sons and daughters occupies a large part of His great heart. God delights in His People. Certain things about certain ones of his kids at certain times will always bring a surge of joy to His heart. Actually, we don’t have to guess about what God treasures.
Look at Jesus’ words in John 4:23; True worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God searches the entire planet looking for something of great value to Him: A WORSHIPING HEART.
1. A worshiping heart:
The same God who rules over the galaxies is searching for people who will worship Him in spirit and truth. We might wonder when and where He might begin that search. Well, it was high noon in Samaria when Jesus spoke these words to a woman of questionable character. Why would Jesus choose to speak about worship to a woman like that in a place like that. Why talk about worship out in the “bad-lands” with a woman who had never even been to the one Approved place for proper worship: the Jerusalem Temple.
If God were looking for True Worship, why wouldn’t He look at the Temple in Jerusalem only 35 miles away? After all, it was the Jewish Leaders who knew what real worship was all about, right? Well, maybe they did. But the God of the Universe was searching for True Worship from a disreputable woman who was doing her mundane, daily chores out in the blazing mid-eastern sun, all by herself. It seems crazy, but her worship mattered to God. And so does yours.
Have you ever thought about that when you are alone, doing some mundane task? In those common ordinary moments, you can, (if you are willing) give God something He will treasure forever. You can offer God something He is seeking all over the world. Lift up praise and adoration, straight from your heart, and it may very well end up in God’s treasure box.
We need to understand that what God treasures is NOT the same as what people treasure. At one point, Jesus tried to explain about the Treasures of Heaven, but the Pharisees weren’t convinced. In fact, they sneered at him.
Jesus turned to them with this piercing remark: You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God’s sight. Luke 16:15
In essence he was saying, “You think you’re the experts on God, but you guys don’t have a clue about what God values.” If they had been better students of God, they might have remembered this verse from the Prophet Isaiah, “This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word.” Isaiah 66:2