Category Archives: Treasure

Treasure – anything can be

A veteran of the WWII Battle of Saipan, where he received a head wound, the soldier recovered and returned home to New York.  He wore a bracelet given him by his family.  Sometime during the years he lost the bracelet and couldn’t recover it.  He died in 2001.


Another man, trawling along the Hudson River with his metal detector had a hit.  He dug into the mud and found a bracelet with an 8-digit number on it.  Through a newspaper’s help, he returned the bracelet to the man’s son.  A family treasure found and returned.  San Diego U-T, 10/16/16.

God’s people have such an heirloom.  It’s called the Bible.  God’s Holy Book.  The Old Covenant and the New.  The words of God through Moses; the Word of God In Jesus Christ.  It belongs to every generation of Christians, including ours, though we don’t value it as previous generations did.

The Gospel has never been lost, but has often been overlooked, notably in our day.  It hasn’t lost any of its value, but it needs to be used to discover its worth.  Preachers read it, but don’t study it so they can preach it at some depth.  It has never been found wanting, and therefore laid aside.  It’s simply been too challenging, and therefore ignored for something not so rough on our egos.  It’s never rusty though unused by us; the Spirit maintains its gleaming, razor-sharp edge.  We simply haven’t kept our minds active enough in studying it; we even find ourselves out of our depth in the One book in which all Christens should swim comfortably, however fathomless it proves.

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Treasure – only Gospel . is worth having (continued)

Dressed in a form-fitting gown so tight she was sewn into it, Marilyn Monroe sang a sultry, sexually-suggestive “Happy Birthday” to then-President Kennedy 19 May, 1962.  Did the Democratic big-wigs consider the impact on Jackie?  The dress sold in 1999 for $1.26 million.  Julien’s Auctions will re-sell it November 17, 2016.  The owner hopes to receive $2-3 million.  San Diego Union-Tribune, 9/8/16

In 2011 the jacket Michael Jackson wore singing his “Thriller” video.  It brought $1.8 million at auction, Julien’s Auction the vendor.  North County Times, 6/27/11

Whatever price the bidders paid for the items, the buyer’s likely wore them in private only for display purposes, and never in public.  They will remain treasures in closets or stored away in boxes, maybe to be re-sold later.

Consider Romans 13:14 instead:  “Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.”

That’s good for daily life here and now.  The joy of being dressed in Christ’s righteousness protects us from temptations to sin.

Consider also II Corinthians 5:2:  “Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling,” revealed to us in Revelation 1:12-18.  What the glorified Jesus IS we shall be.

That’s enormously persuasive in keeping our present commitment to Jesus strong.  Who wouldn’t want the kind of body that shattered John the Apostle?  Which would shatter each of us if we saw it now.  Which won’t shatter us if when we appear with Jesus since we shall be like him.

Why have as treasure what we can only see, not experience?  What belongs to a mortal such as ourselves, not to the Sovereign Lord God?  What perishes with all other perishables in the Great Burning, when Jesus Christ’s Body goes on eternally, and ours with his?

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Treasure, the real, lasting, continued

The in-flight instructions John Glenn followed on his history-making orbit of earth in February, 1962, has sold at auction for nearly $67,000.  In addition to detailing celestial bodies, the instructions specified landmarks he could identify throughout the five-hour flight.  They also told him when to take photos and exercise.  San Diego U-T, 7/24/16

One of eight bids won the prized instructions.  The fortunate owner can, by following them,  live what John Glenn experienced 34 years ago.  Still, it will be only vicarious.  Only Glenn had the personal privilege at the time, and he can’t to this day take anyone along with him on another flight.

Reading the Bible, Jesus Christ’s life-instruction book, differs from Glenn’s or any pilot of a commercial airliner today.  They orbited Glenn in the heavens around the earth.  Christ’s instructions promise to take us through the heavens, as Jesus himself went in his Ascension, Hebrews 4:14.  Through what we still see and, with ever-more powerful telescopes, shall see deeper into the universe more than ever.  Through all that, into Heaven itself, where God Almighty sits on his majestic throne, Jesus Christ sits beside him on his throne, serving as our High Priest.  Later, in the New Jerusalem, as God Almighty in Glorified human form, Jesus gives us the privilege of seeing the otherwise Invisible God living among us.

It cost $67,000 to secure Glenn’s flight-instructions.  The only money it costs us to read, believe and inherit the benefits of Jesus Christ’s life-instructions is a tithe of our gross income and a love offering equal to our spiritual maturity.  For most of us, over a lifetime, those costs are a mere percentage of the $67,000 someone paid for Glenn’s flight-instructions.

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Treasure – last but re-found

Van Gogh painted Sunset at Montmajour in 1888, dating it July 4.  He wrote a letter to his brother Theo describing the geography that inspired the work.

French art dealer Maurice Fabre purchased it in 1901.  While no record exists of its re-sale, family members of industrialist Christian Mustad said he bought it in 1908.  The French ambassador to Sweden told him it was a fake.  Mustad stored it in his attic.  There it remained for 60 plus years.  On Mustad’s death, the painting, still thought a fake or the work of another artist, was sold to a collector.  In 1991 the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam labeled it a true Van Gogh original.  The same museum which called it a fake has now concluded it was authentic.

A lot of people say that the portrait of Jesus Christ in the Gospels is fake…the result of over-ambitious disciples intent on creating a favorable impression of a failed teacher.  However, as my book Their Own Best Defense repeatedly proves, the Jesus of the Four Gospels is vigorously, accurately and blazingly authentic.  Buy a copy and see for yourself.  Your money back if not satisfied.

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Treasure – always seek . you don’t want to ever lose, sell, discard, etc.

Few Olympic fans will forget Al Michaels shouting, “Do you believe in miracles?  Yes!” at the end of the United States defeat of the Soviet Union hockey team in the Winter Games, 1980.  Gold Medals graced the neck of those amateurs.  Now we read that Jim Craig, goaltender of the U.S. team has put his medal up for auction.  To be held June 17, it should bring between $1-2 million.  San Diego U-T, 5/18/16.

It’s a lot easier to believe that items from the Titanic were auctioned in 2012.  Artifacts as small as a hairpin to as large as a chunk of the ship’s hull went to the highest bidder.  But, after all, no one aboard the ill-fated ship is now alive.  If they were, they would be shocked to see recovered artifacts sold.  North County Times, 1/6/12.

Speaking of personal experience with VALUE:  how could anyone having his sins forgiven by Jesus Christ ever seek another religious leader or religious body?  It happens, to be sure, as Hebrews 6:4-6 teaches.  But how to explain that those once enlightened by Christ’s brilliance could ever turn to a lesser light just because it offers an apparent easier way to God?  God made the way to him as inexpensive as possible—and THAT cost Jesus his life.  That being true, no way other than his forgiveness of our sins will ever qualify us to enter God’s August, Fearsome Presence.  The shine of the Gold Medal to Jim Craig faded since 1980.  Never let your faith in Jesus Christ fade.  Never.  Let it grow, expand and monopolize your whole life.  But never give it away or diminish its value!  He’s the only hope for our Gospel-starved world.

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Treasure – earthly can be corrupted, lost, maimed

A devastating flood scoured the Mississippi valley in 1951.  The Kansas and Missouri rivers rose 70 times their normal size July 13 of that year.  In 2011 a Thomas Hart Benton mural depicting the disaster sold for between $800,000 to $1.2 million.  SD North County Times, 5/18/11

Andy Warhol painted a portrait of Mao Zedong in 1972.  At an alcohol-fueled party, Dennis Hopper, owner of the portrait, thought the portrait was Mao in person and shot two holes in it.  The portrait still sold for $302,000 in 2011.  SD North County Times, 1/12/11

Thieves can always find ways to steal valuables.  In 2008 they stole jewels worth $25 million from Harry Winston’s famous Paris boutique.  In 2011 investigators found 19 rings and three sets of earrings—one valued at $19.5 million—in a house drain.  The owner of the house—one of those charged in the theft—had secreted the valuables in a plastic container inside a cement mold inside the sewer.  SD North County Times, 3/9/11

A wife put her ring in a cup.  Her  husband threw it away.  When she told him it contained her wedding ring, he called the city’s sanitation supervisor.  He ordered his workers to sort ten tons of trash looking for the ring.  They finally found it.  San Diego Union, 11/12/09

All of these examples prove the truth of Christ’s warning in Matthew 6:19-20, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth….But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven….”

Whatever you absolutely don’t want to lose—ever—give it to God’s work.  It remains intact whether we live or die, fire burns our house down or governmental collapse threatens the bond market, the stock market or gold and silver reserves.

Think of all the checks you write each month to keep you alive.  They all perish with the services rendered.  Then think of the tithe you pay to God, and the love offerings beyond you give.  Those funds alone have value now and forever.  Read Luke 16:9 in that regard.  Even something so fleeting as money can have eternal value if invested in Jesus Christ’s work.

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Treasure – God’s deeper and better

Writer’s Note:  back to blogging after two tough weeks sidelined by illness.  Enough of California pollen-induced problems!

Spanish workers laying pipes uncovered a massive 1300 pound trove of fourth century Roman coins.  A first in Spanish history; a unique archaeological find.

The very size of the find indicates its governmental provenance.  Researchers figure the 19 amphorae contained funds to pay soldiers or civil employees.  What they can’t determine is the reason workers dug deep enough to bury the jars, though flight from hostile cavalry was the likely inspiration.  Nor can researchers determine the breakdown of civil authority that expedited the flight, though it had to be complete.  Treasuries are the last resources removed when governments fail.  San Diego U-T, 5/1/16.

The spiritual principle is two-fold.  One, when you want to find the deepest, richest, worthiest treasures for life, go to the ancient past of Bible history.  For the simple reason that only there do we find principles that remain immovably permanent.  Never seek those values in today’s press or books, even Christian books. God’s word alone possesses and embodies those eternal truths.

Two, to serendipitously find such massive treasure the diggers were digging deeper.  Nineteen amphorae demand depth and breath.  Many ancient treasures are unearthed in shallow soil for the simple reason that those fleeing with them had neither time nor tools for anything else.  The amphorae meant that government officials, likely escorted by military units, had tools and time to dig and bury deeper.

Any reading of Scripture enlightens.  Any time spent reading Scripture strengthens, warns or encourages.  But if we want in-depth knowledge of God and his Christ, we have to commit ourselves to Bible study, not mere Bible reading.  To pondering the Spirit’s presence, not accumulating chapters.  To cross-referencing passages relating to the same subjects, not treating the books as unrelated creations.  To reading introductions to Books, not ignoring them for “real” words.

Don’t be in a rush to build your knowledge of God’s word.  Just be faithful in your pursuit.  Persevere when it’s easier to find another way.  What comes easily can as easily depart.  What comes with dedicated effort usually hangs around to be an influential, if invisible presence in our lives.

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Treasure – what many consider (continued)

She kayaked in Oceanside Harbor for 10 years before finding a bottle with a letter inside.  Then, wouldn’t you know it, a few minutes later, found a second bottle with a letter in it.  The messages came from a 10 year old New Zealand student who sealed and sent them bobbing in the spring of 2011.  Thousands of miles later ocean currents escorted the fragile carriers into Oceanside Harbor.  San Diego Union, 10/18/12

Spiritual Perspective.  God sent a message to the world 1500 years before Jesus Christ.  The letter covered human history from the Garden of Eden till that fateful, fear-filled day Moses climbed Mt. Sinai to stand in the thunder and lighting and watch God’s finger cut Ten Words on Two Tablets, front and back.  The Jewish nation, then forming from a rabble of ex-slaves, continue to be governed by those Ten Words.  Christianity, sole heir of Moses and Prophets, began in Bethlehem, Judea, and continues to this day as God’s letter to the world.  His message has hope since it’s about a Love that SO loved he gave his Only Begotten Son.

We don’t have to search for it.  It’s revealed.  We don’t have to seek mysterious, arcane interpretations of it.  The Holy Spirit teaches it to any who want a Bible education.  We don’t have to wonder where we originated, what we’re here for, or where we’re going.  The entire history of humanity is recorded in the 66 books.

Read it and SEE!

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Treasure – what is our?

Would you like to own America’s first $20 gold coin?  Pony up at least $15 million.  The nation’s last $20 gold coin may cost you as much.  Both are secreted in Smithsonian vaults.  San Diego U-T, 8/13/10

Spiritual perspective.  If you owned by faith the riches of Jesus Christ, you would gladly carry them around and SHARE with all who seek him.  If you owned the country’s first or last $20 gold coin, what could you do but hide it in a bank vault?  What great value spiritual treasure has since it’s to be given away.  What little value ancient coins have since they are hoarded!

Or take the SS Central America—the Ship of Gold, bound for New York from California, filled with $30,000 pounds of the glittering gold.  A hurricane sank it off North Carolina in 1857, with the loss of 400 people and all that precious metal.  $10 million has been recovered by salvagers.  The death of 400 people seem an afterthought to collectors of COIN!  Gold has soul, they say.  Yes, but the 400 people ARE souls!  But don’t confuse collectors with facts.  Gold is the thing!  And security against economic crises.

Unless you look at life through Christ’s perspective.  He called as Fool the rich man whose “gold” was expanded barns and bumper harvests—which he considered his security for a “good old age”.  Only to die that very night Luke 12:13-21.  Read the account if you’re ready to adjust your view of true worth.

Aboard the same SS Central America were other historic articles:  a copy of the Declaration of Independence, printed about July 17, 1776.  And spoons crafted by that splendid silversmith Paul Revere.  To say nothing of possessions treasured by those 400 dead.

Spiritual perspective.  The Christian faith, God’s final, full and perfect revelation of himself, dealt completely with forgiveness of sin:  no religion ever has or can.  In addition, Jesus Christ fills his believers with exceptional, unrivaled spiritual benefits that Paul listed in Galatians 5:22-26, Colossians 3:12-17 and Peter in II Peter 1:5-9.  Think of it:  forgiveness of all sin, past and present AND, in addition, treasures of virtues that fill life to full and overflowing even now.

Take all the worlds treasures but give me Jesus:  the cry of every believer.

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Treasure – sometimes, not always found in the nick of time, unless we seek God’s

A New York City man, who has 78 cents in his bank account, and owed $44,000, found the money to buy a single lottery ticket.  That single dollar turned into 140 million dollars when he won the Mega Millions jackpot in November, 2004.  San Diego North County Times, 11/24/04.  But if you’re down to your last 78 cents, you better find a job instead of relying on winning the lottery.  Spiritual note: only when we’re flat broke spiritually can we find the wealth of God’s grace Matthew 5:3.  Never come to God hoping to impress him with at least something we have.  As Toplady wrote, “Nothing in my hand I bring, Simply to thy Cross I cling.”

An unemployed amateur treasure hunter, living on welfare, hit the jackpot in Staffordshire, England, when he unearthed an Anglo-Saxon trove of 1500 pieces from A.D. 700.  Archaeologists considered it an exceptional find since it revealed the heretofore unknown culture of Anglo-Saxons.  North County Times, 9/25/09

But if you’re unemployed, and on welfare, there’s certainly more certainty in a check for work done than poking in the soil ANYWHERE.  True, like the homeowner digging foundations for his home near ancient Aleppo, northern Syria, we could somewhere find 250 silver coins, dating from the time of Alexander the Great.  North County Times, 3/5/10.  But not many acres of dirt have coins hidden there. Spiritual point.  If we’ve decided to start reading the Bible, we’ll profit more if we begin with the Gospel of Mark or John, not Genesis.  However, if we poke around in Scripture anywhere, we’ll find God’s treasure.

Then there’s the Lost Dutchman Mine in Arizona.  Legend says a Mexican family discovered it, but was killed by Apaches.  In the 1870’s a ne’er do well German (called Dutchman) re-found it and buried some of it.  But none has ever surfaced.  Life Magazine, 3/17/06.  Spiritual note:  God wrote his Scripture.  The Holy Spirit preserved it.  Jesus Christ embodies it.  And it’s available to anyone willing to spend time investigating its glory.

My family went treasure hunting with Christian friends from Las Vegas.  We roughed a weekend south of Flagstaff, Arizona.  I had no idea what we were looking for.  He did.  We traipsed over canyons and meadows of those beautiful hills, but found nothing.  I did find that the rough roads killed one of my tires and we had to return to Las Vegas without a spare.  The treasure, so far as I know, remains wherever it was someone put it in the 1800’s.  Spiritual note:  that jaunt made for a pleasant week-end with Christian friends—some of the worthiest of all treasures in life.

In June, 2012 Annie Oakley’s 12-gauge Parker Brother’s Shotgun went for $143,000 at auction.  It had belonged to Annie’s sister and had been willed through the generations to her great-grandnieces—who sold the gun and other of her personal items.  Spiritual note:  what is one generation’s treasure is stuff to be auctioned or eliminated by the next.  Christian parents want nothing less from their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren than to have them constantly seek Christ’s will for their lives.

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