Summary: Someone else is receiving a blessing if you choose to bury your treasure.
Do you know where the most expensive piece of real estate on this planet is located? Cemeteries. 6 feet into the ground is buried all kinds of treasure. Dreams that were never pursued, books that were never written, songs that were never sung, inventions that were never pursued, churches that were never built, trips that were never taken, etc. Today I am starting a 5 week sermon series with you titled “Discovering the Hidden Treasure of Christian Living”. I have 3 objectives of this series - 1. I want you to discover that you are a treasure. Last month we did a series on Becoming People of Inspiration. Today you will notice that there is an outline of a person of inspiration. The outline represents you. When you recognize the treasure that you are you become an inspiration to others. 2. This is the 2nd objective I have in this series which is for you to appreciate that your responsibility is to inspire others to find their treasure. 3. I want you to become investors in the greatest treasure hunt our church has been involved with. At the end of this series I am going to ask you to make a financial and time commitment to our upcoming year of ministry.
So let’s take a closer look at these hidden treasure stories today because I want us to consider the possibility that if we choose not to look for our treasure, if we choose to allow our treasure to remain buried someone else is going to receive a blessing.
Can I confess that these stories are a little troubling for me? Do you remember that children’s statement, “Finders keepers, losers weepers!” That children’s statement suggests this person in today’s story is practicing that reality. A few years ago I had gone to a library and upon leaving the library and walking to my car I found a $100 bill in the parking lot. I picked it up and looked around to see if there was anyone that could claim it. There was no one around. Now you need to appreciate that I had been unemployed for about 3-5 months at this time, so $100 bucks would have been really useful and there was no one around to claim it. I wrestled with trying to figure out the right thing to do. I rationalized it must be a gift from God and then decided - nope it doesn’t belong to me. So I went into the library and gave it to the librarian in case someone came looking for it. Can I tell you that immediately after I walked out of the library I felt like an idiot - in fact I think the librarian thought I was an idiot. Can I also tell you that another $100 bill did not magically appear you know like a message from God that said, “Tim, I know you are going through difficult times, so here is $100 for you.” Nope none of that happened. My hunch is no one claimed that $100, the person would have probably realized that it fell out of their pocket somewhere and that it was gone for good. Nope that $100 ended up in the library treasure - it became a blessing to the library. And I was saddened because I knew I had found a treasure and lost it because I believed it was too good to be true. I did not believe I was worthy of that treasure, of that kind of attention, of that kind of “luck”. I can only imagine how much treasure I have missed out on through the years because of that kind of belief system.
How about you? Do you believe you are worthy of finding treasure? Was there a time that you discovered a treasure but out of fear of drawing attention to your treasure you chose to bury it and now someone else is living with that blessing? Have you ever heard yourself say - I thought about doing that once as you watched someone share how they were making millions of dollars now because they had invented Velcro. BTW do you now how Velcro was invented? A Swiss named George De Mestral was out walking his dog. Upon returning home he noticed his pant legs and dog were covered in these sticky burrs (we called them hitchhikers). He began playing with them wondering if the same principle could be applied to fabric and created Velcro. Perhaps you have said, “Hey that was my idea” to someone who was already putting your idea into motion, this is what I mean when I say, “Someone else is receiving a blessing if you choose to bury your treasure”.
Notice that the man in our story does not hesitate when he finds this treasure, he is not conflicted like I was about what to do, he does not question whether or not he is worthy of such a find, no he allows himself to be filled with joy at his find. This is the point of Jesus’ parable - When you discover treasure be joyful, not fearful. When you discover treasure be Free, not conflicted. When you discover treasure do everything you can to possess it, don’t walk away from it, don’t leave it buried and hidden, Own it, Believe it, Claim it.