Matthew 6:19-21 “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.”
I had a thought provoking experience a couple weeks ago that seems to haunt me. While driving to a meeting I traveled down a busy street in Columbus, as I was momentarily stopped at a light thinking how I would be late to my next meeting when I saw the glint of something shiny laying in the gutter just past the light of the intersection…
As I looked closer I saw that it was the gold guild on the edges of a book’s pages. Immediately, I thought someone must have left their Bible on top of their car and drove off unknowingly leaving the Word of God in the gutter of this busy street. As the light turned green I along with a dozen other cars drove past on our way to our meetings, shopping, and whatever other events had us out and about that morning. Immediately, my heart began to ache seeing the very Word of God lying in the street. “I’m late; It’s a very busy street with nowhere to stop; I’m actually wearing a suit and tie; Someone else will stop.” All these thoughts ran through my mind as I drove past the flapping pages of that book.
Jesus tells us in Matthew and again in Luke that “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” The Word of God is our treasure. It is the means of salvation to all men for it alone holds the truth of God’s plan for our lives, how in indescribable love Christ took the form of a man to reach His lost people to pay their penalty on a horrible cross, so that we might live for all eternity with Him in heaven.
How then could so many just drive by? Some, I’m sure, never noticed, but like me, I’m sure thousands did. Isn’t that just like the Gospel? Many people never notice their condition separated from God and just pass by, others see the truth, but quickly pass by in the business of their days. The situation brings to mind so many analogies that my mind swims with them. Another thought for you today is how could I leave my Lord’s Gospel in the gutter? How could I and countless others merely pass by leaving our faith to be battered and torn? I tell you that many do this every day, not literally as in this situation, but figuratively when they choose to walk past their faith for the things of this world. We all too often choose to follow what appears to be fun or exciting, necessary, or important, at the expense of our faith. We shirk from the acknowledgment of Christian beliefs and practices for acceptance or gain. Are the trinkets and bobbles of this world really so attractive as to leave the precious Word of God lying in a ditch?
In the book of Revelation (3:8) Jesus commends the ones who refuse to deny Him and opens the door to heaven for them… “‘I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut. I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.”
I wonder how many times I’ve driven by? How many times I have denied the name of Christ by driving by, avoiding the situation, simply choosing to do nothing.
Luke, too, has something to say in chapter 9:26, “For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.”
God’s Word is our most precious gift for it brings hope and salvation to all men. How can we just drive by?
How about you? What would you have done? Picture yourself in that situation: a busy street, cars zooming by, no place to stop, late for your next meeting, and a hundred other excuses running through your mind…will you stop?
It took me about a half a mile, before I could bear it no longer. I found a place to turn around, parked down the street and walked back to find the book still lying in the gutter. I picked it up wet and tattered, while cars zoomed by. Awkwardly, I stooped down and pulled it from the street wondering what occurred to leave this here. The experience really tested me; it made me think hard about what I value.
Jack Kehl, guest TT writer
Oh, that book? It was a thesaurus not a Bible (thank God), but it nevertheless taught me a lesson. How about you?