Posted: 6/14/19 at 1:00pm. Column by Ed Jordan.
Do you realize that your life is a treasure chest?
Many of us spend our whole lives dreaming of someday acquiring treasure. Why do we do this? Because treasures are valuable, they endure, and because with them we can make life better for us and those we love.
Jesus said that your heart follows your treasures, so you are to make sure that you store up the right treasures in the right place. According to the New Testament, the ultimate treasure you can have is Jesus, the King of God’s Kingdom. Jesus frequently referred to the Kingdom of Heaven, or Kingdom of God, as the treasure that should drive our quest.
When you receive Jesus and put him in the most valued place in your life, your life becomes like a treasure chest—including the greatest treasure ever—which is Jesus. In today’s column I want you to give thought to another kind of treasure that each of us possesses.
The Greek word “treasure” in the New Testament (cf. Matthew 6:19-21) is the word “thesauros,” which became the English word “thesaurus.” The word originally meant the storage place in which good and valuable things were stored and also became a synonym for the treasures that were stored.
In English a thesaurus is a special “treasure” book that lists words with similar meaning to whatever word you look up. So a thesaurus is a book full of treasures, and those treasures are words. Words are a treasure that you possess, but you are often unaware of the value your words can have. We are to store God’s word in our hearts, according to Psalm 119:11.
Have you ever thought of your mind full of words as a treasury, from which you can share old treasures and store and share new ones? With our words we can bless others, encourage others, inform others, and share our feelings with them.
I’m sure you realize that there was a time when few people could read and when there were not a lot of reading materials available. The widespread access to words, books, and reading skills is a fairly new development in the scope of history.
The publication of books into multiple languages and the development of reading skills among the masses were basically a product of the Reformation Christian movement in the 1500s A.D. Before that time, books were few, and they were usually only in languages known mainly by scholars or people of royalty.
Guttenberg’s printing press gave people access to the Bible in printed form and reading skills to be able to read it. Mass printing capabilities changed the world and opened up treasures of knowledge that until then had only been accessible to scholars and scribes.
Words are treasures, and they open up whole new treasures in the person who speaks, writes, reads, or hears them. Words convey concepts, and the interaction of words triggers even more concepts and truth treasures.
For example, “Our Father, who is in heaven…” So many people are missing out on a relationship with God, in which God is our Father, who loves us, communicates with us, encourages us, listens to us, and guides us in decisions that provide us with the best life possible. We are not alone; there is a bigger family, and God is our Father.
We are at the point in our calendar now when we are reminded to remember and honor our fathers. But even if we have had bad experiences with an earthly father, in Jesus we become adopted by the best Father ever. He is a treasure beyond all treasures.
Words, and our vocabulary, become treasures that can bless others or can curse them. In Matthew 12:35, Jesus says that the good person speaks out of the good stored in their heart, and the evil person speaks destructive things out of the evil stored in their heart. Good words bless others while evil words hurt them.
Jesus did not say that we must have a huge vocabulary in order to have treasures within us. It is not the size of our vocabulary but the kind of words we use that blesses others; it is not just the words used, but also the motive and manner in which they are spoken.
Proverbs 25:11 (CSB) reminds us that “A word spoken at the right time is like gold apples in silver settings.” A good word spoken at the right time is a beautiful treasure that is valuable and lasting.
You have a treasure chest of words and stories. Are you using them or hoarding them? How are you sharing your treasury of words? You have treasure, and God wants you to bless others with it!