“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” – Matthew 13:44 (ESV)
I like to watch Antiques Roadshow. People take old stuff they’ve found at garage sales or in grandma’s attic to be appraised on national television. People show up with everything from pre-French Revolution armoires to Ulysses S. Grant’s spittoon. It is an astounding showcase of tarnished old treasures, chairs you can’t sit in and stamps you can’t use.
I’d like to take my collection of ball caps on the show. My wife claims they’re a useless waste of space. I beg to differ. I can hear it now… “This Indiana University hat is a fine example of late twentieth century sporting attire. The ‘IU’ logo was beautifully machine-stitched in Malaysia. The crimson color is still intact. The bill is completely attached to the hat, but has been bent to form to the owner’s head. Now, this piece dates from the post-Bobby Knight era, which devalues it somewhat. Had this piece of headwear come from the classic “Hoosier Hysteria” period of Indiana University basketball – even though it is a baseball cap – and the bill been left unbent, we would probably be looking at a value of anywhere from $8,000 – $10,000. As it is, this lovely piece of Indiana sporting apparal is worth around $5,000 – $6,000. I would say that your entire hat collection would probably pay off your mortgage and possibly pay for your child’s education. Thank you for letting us see this fine, fine example of Hoosier headwear.”
Not bad for a hat that cost my about $8.00.
We live in a junk house. I don’t mean your home in particular. Think about it… we greatly value so much stuff in this life. The problem is, it is just stuff. It will break. It will rust. It will fall apart. Even my overvalued IU hat will one day be moth-eaten, faded, threadbare, unwearable.
But not all our possessions are tangible. Sometimes we cling tightly to other junk this life has to offer: pain, pride, guilt, grudges, wrong ideas and notions… all these “things” we focus on. It’s because we live in a fallen world. We are surrounded by sin.
We are surrounded by junk.
Today I want to encourage you to begin – if you haven’t already – looking at things a little bit differently. Look at things from a more eternal perspective – a God-perspective. What God has to offer is far more precious than anything on this earth. So much so that gaining the kingdom of heaven is worth ditching every bit of the junk of this world for. “The kingdom of heaven” – that is, the abode of God, His way of doing things, His will for our lives – is a far greater treasure than anything that shines on this earth.
We are foolish to cling so tightly to things of no eternal value. There is no real security in the stuff of this world. (Ask anyone who has seen their retirement / investments / home equity / savings vanish over the past few years.) “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matt 6:19-21, ESV).
Antiques Roadshow has nothing on God. Once we discover that, then we truly have a treasure of great – immeasurable – worth.