Summary: We must not forget that God is the one who has done the choosing. Chosen-ness depends on the opinion of the chooser not the chosen. God says to us, ‘You have value because you are valuable to Me.’ The value of the treasure depends on the One who consid
Living Like Treasure
INTRODUCTION… Trophy Husband Shirt Conversation (p)
This past week I was going through some of my clothes and I found this t-shirt that I am wearing. It is a t-shirt that Kelly bought me some time ago. It says “Trophy Husband.” I have never worn it. I don’t like the t-shirt. As I was going through them, I put this shirt in the “discard pile.” The next day I was fumbling around looking for a t-shirt to wear and Kelly remembered seeing it the day before as I went through my clothes and suggested I wear it.
I told her that shirt went in the discard pile as soon as I came upon it. I told her I didn’t wear it because it is weird and I don’t think it’s true and I don’t want to wear it.
Then Kelly said something which immediately brought the passage to mind that we will be focusing on this morning. Kelly said, “You don't get to decide if you are my trophy husband or not. It's true because I decided you are my trophy.” It was hard to disagree with that. You see chosen-ness depends on the opinion of the chooser not the chosen. Kelly was saying that ‘You have value because you are valuable to me.’ It is the same with treasure. The value of the treasure depends on the one who considers it treasure. Today we will be talking about treasure and value and chosen-ness.
The 3:16 that we will read from this morning comes from the last book of the Old Testament. It is from the book of Malachi (Mal-ah-kai… not Mah-lah-chee). Malachi (Mal-ah-kai) is a book of the Bible. Malachi (Mah-lah-chee) is an Italian prophet or Italian designer or something. Anyway, as the last book of the Old Testament, Malachi has much to say in 4 chapters.
Malachi 3:16-17 are our target verses for us this morning and where we want our eyes of faith to focus. To be honest, Malachi 3:16-17 has one single solitary message for us this morning and we don’t want to miss it. In order not to miss it, let’s start our vision large and work our way smaller and smaller as we go along. In order not to miss it, let’s start looking at the whole forest and then focus down on one particular tree and then onto one specific branch. Let’s first briefly look at the whole context of the Book of Malachi, then look at chapter 3, then look more specifically at 3:13-18 and then we will settle on Malachi 3:16-17 and its important encouraging and challenging message for us.
MALACHI CHAPTERS 1-4
The last book of the Old Testament has four chapters addressed to all of the covenant people of God. God’s very first words in Malachi to His people are “I have loved you” (Malachi 1:2). God is expressing to the people here that His love was expressed in fact long ago, but the effects remain strong even in the present. God expresses His unchanging love for His people.
Chapter 1: Malachi talks about the love God has for Israel and how the priests of Israel are corrupt.
Chapter 2: Malachi continues his admonition to the priests in their corruption and speaks about divorce.
Chapter 3: Malachi talks about stealing and giving and about the divine love God has for Israel.
Chapter 4: Malachi predicts a day when judgment will come, but will also be a day of hope for many.
ILLUSTRATION… 2 Jackets and a Shirt (p)
I have with me today three things that I consider to be treasures. They are treasures to me because I consider them to be valuable. The first item here is a black leather jacket. I bought this leather jacket for $99.99 in 1994. What is the big deal with this jacket? It is a normal run of the mill leather jacket. It is a size “medium” and I have not been a size “medium” since 1996. I can never wear this jacket again. So why keep it? I keep it for one reason. I got my first job in 1994 and worked in a movie theater. With my first paycheck, I purchased this leather jacket. Why? I don’t know. But I bought it with the first money I ever earned myself. So it is valuable to me.
The second item I have here is a jacket that I earned in 1994. This is my letterman jacket from Baumholder American High School where I finished High School. When my family moved to Baumholder, I decided I wanted to play a sport, get a girlfriend, and be popular. I think I did all of those. Kelly tells me I wasn’t as popular as I think. I got this jacket because I was on the Varsity Football team for 2 years. I got this Academic Letter because 1994 was the beginning of the “We don’t want anyone to feel left out culture” and you could also get a jacket for grades. I had good grades. I wore this jacket often. It is still in great shape and I hope to keep it in great shape for many years.