Just Some Treasure That
Every Child has dreamed about finding some treasure hidden in the ground somewhere. Buried treasure is an important part of the popular stories surrounding pirates and old west outlaws too. Robert Louis Stevenson’s book of fiction called Treasure Island gave us the idea of treasure maps that would lead to buried treasure. You must remember that this book and treasure maps are entirely fictional. However, it is not unusual to find things in the Bible that are hidden. Adam and Eve even tried to hide from God. “And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.” (Genesis 3:8) Genesis 35 provides an interesting account of Jacob’s return to Bethel after 20 years with Laban. “And God said unto Jacob, Arise, go up to Bethel, and dwell there: and make there an altar unto God, that appeared unto thee when thou fleddest from the face of Esau thy brother. Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him, Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments: And let us arise, and go up to Bethel; and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went. And they gave unto Jacob all the strange gods which were in their hand,
and all their earrings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the oak which was by Shechem.” (Genesis 35:1-4) The word “Hid” is in 128 verses in our King James Version of the Bible. “Hidden” is in 22 addition verses. Many things have been hidden. Even little babies have been hidden. “And the woman conceived, and bare a son: and when she saw him that he was a goodly child, she hid him three months.” (Exodus 2:2) Just some treasure that was hidden? No! Hidden things are found all through our Bibles.
Just some treasure that was hidden? No! This treasure that Achan hid was a horribly sinful act. After the great victory at Jericho, Joshua sent about two or three thousand men to Ai to take that small city. The battle was lost and 36 men were killed. God had told Israel to take nothing from Jericho. Sadly, Achan sinned by taking some things and hiding them in his tent. “When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them; and, behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it. So Joshua sent messengers, and they ran unto the tent; and, behold, it was hid in his tent, and the silver under it.” (Joshua 7:21-22) God is holy and He cannot tolerate sin. Sin is never private. Although Achan alone did this God said, “Israel hath sinned, and they have also transgressed my covenant which I commanded them: for they have even taken of the accursed thing, and have also stolen, and dissembled also, and they have put it even among their own stuff.” (Joshua 7:11) Sin lead to defeat for Israel, death for Achan and all his family and it leads to damnation to all who continue in it. What are you hiding from God? Even when hidden, sin corrupts. Just some treasure hidden in the ground? No! This treasure that Achan hid was a horribly sinful act.
Just some treasure that was hidden? No! This treasure pictures a very selfish act. Benhadad king of Syria gathered his entire host, and went up, and besieged Samaria. There was a great famine in the city. There was nothing to eat. Things were so bad that a donkey’s head cost about two pounds of silver, and a small bowl of pigeon droppings cost about two ounces of silver. In this terrible situation women agreed to eat their own children. That night the Lord intervened. He “caused the Syrian troops to hear what sounded like the roar of a huge cavalry. The soldiers said to each other, “Listen! The king of Israel must have hired Hittite and Egyptian troops to attack us. Let’s get out of here!” So they ran out of their camp that night, leaving their tents and horses and donkeys.” Four lepers were there. “And when these lepers came to the uttermost part of the camp, they went into one tent, and did eat and drink, and carried thence silver, and gold, and raiment, and went and hid it; and came again, and entered into another tent, and carried thence also, and went and hid it.” (2 Kings 7:8) “They said to each other, “This isn’t right. Today is a day to celebrate, and we haven’t told anyone else what has happened. If we wait until morning, we will be punished. Let’s go to the king’s palace right now and tell the good news.” We are in the same condition as these lepers. We have the saving gospel and we sit quietly. “This isn’t right.” God's plan for one who has been taught the gospel is for that person to teach others. "And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also." (2 Timothy 2:2) Let us hear again God's watchman message to Ezekiel. "When I say to the wicked, 'You shall surely die,' and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. Yet, if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul." (Ezekiel 3: 18-19) Just some treasure that was hidden? No! This treasure pictures a very selfish act.
Just some treasure that was hidden? No! This treasure is a picture of the gospel being rejected. People must want to be saved. “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost.” (2 Corinthians 4:3) The gospel is a priceless treasure. It is now in human vessels. Paul wrote, “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.” (2 Corinthians 4:7) The treasure is the gospel of Christ. It is priceless to have the knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ in your heart. What then, makes the Gospel such a priceless treasure? The gospel means that everyone, anywhere, at all times can be saved. It is Christ crucified inside us that gives hope and meaning and value to our lives. Keep this treasure strong in your heart and also share it with others. Never allow the gospel to be hidden to you! You should stay faithful in the church and also help others to go to heaven. When Satan is beating you down you must hold on to your treasure. Just some treasure that was hidden? No! This treasure is a picture of the gospel being rejected.
Jesus said, “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.” (Matthew 13:44) The kingdom of heaven, the church, the salvation provided by the Gospel, is like a treasure, something of enormous worth. Are you faith in our Lord’s church? To become a Christian you must hear the gospel (Romans 10:17), believe in Jesus as the Christ (Mark 16:16), repent of all sins (Acts 17:30), confess Christ as Lord (Romans 10:9-10) and be baptized for remission of sins. (Acts 2:38) After baptism remain faithful to God. (Revelation 2:10) Those who are faithful will be truly blessed. “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” (Psalms 119:11)
- - - - Charles Box
News & Notes
1. Prayer List: In Need Of Prayer: Shelby Bennett, LeRoy Boutwell, Bryson Box, Paige Box, Brenda Burkett, Bonnie Croley, Debbie Cunningham, Hilton Gorum, Kevin Huddleston, Felice Kendrick, Patrica Kennemore, Alice Little, Carolena Long, Larry Lucas, Annie McKee, Jewel McNaughton, Charlotte Miller, Jeff Miller, Ray Moore, P.J. Norther, Jane Owen, Candice Parker, Emma Peterson, William Pierce, Tina Pouncey, Shane Prater, Jack Queener, Amber Raines, Dan Raybon, John Reynolds, Peggy Rice, Brenda Richburg, Billy Rodger, Timothy Rowell, Rosie Rudolph, Jerry Sanders, Katie Sanders, Chuck Shepherd, Nathan Simmons, Rick Sirmon, Margaret Skipper, Debbie Stone, Mary Lou Terrell, Arlene Thomas, Frank Thomas, Jenny Traywick (sister of Cheryl Pierce), Jimmy Walker, Gladys Warren, Jim Watts, John Watts, Mary Ann Wilkes and Jim Wood. Crowne Health Care: Helen Autrey, Dorothy Buck, Jewel Cauthen, Gladys Childs, Arlene Coltrane, Betty Findley, Kathy Johnson, Sarah Knight, Glenn Phillips, Nelda Sanders, and Annie Ruth Tetter.
2. Place Membership: We welcome Gary and Gettie Leger to the Walnut Street Church of Christ. Information for your directory – Gray April 27th – Gettie August 18th – Anniversary June 7th – 82 Oakleigh Road, Greenville, AL 36037 – phone 382-3613.
3. Sympathy Expressed: Our love and sympathy is expressed to (a) Holly Box and her family in the death of her grandmother, Helen Shoemaker and (b) Heather Corbin and her family in the death of her daughter, Kayla Sexton who was killed in a four wheeler accident.
3. Anniversary: Celebrating an anniversary this week: August 12th B.J. and Missy Alford.
4. Birthdays: Celebrating a birthday this week: August 13th Margaret Pierce, August 15th Timber Black and David Stallings, August 16th Garrett Fullington and August 18th Shirley Autrey.
5. Congratulation: Congratulation to Heather Bagents on graduating Suma Cum Laude from Auburn University with a Bachelors of Sciences in Nursing.
6. Thank You Note: Dear Walnut Street Church, Thank you so much for your prayers, phone calls, and cards during my resent surgery. Your prayers have helped greatly in a speedy recovery. I also want to thank all of you for the past 11 years being a member here at Walnut Street. The friendships that I have formed with you all have been the happiest of my life. My prayer is I have many more years here to continue building on those friendships. Please continue to pray for Barbara and me as we try to serve here and do God’s will. Prayer is one of the best defenses we have against the Evil one. You all are in my prayers. Your Friend and Brother in Christ, Jimmy Walker
7. Ambridge University Spiritual Enrichment Forum: The Spiritual Enrichment Forum will be held downtown Montgomery at the Embassy Suites Hotel on October 1st-3rd. On Tuesday night October 2nd the Annual Appreciation Dinner will be held honoring Bobby and Mary Lou Terrell along with George and Nina Herring. Please attend if possible. See Bobby Terrell for more information.
8. What Can You Do At Service Time: Greet visitors and make them feel welcome. You can also participate in each part of our worship.
9. Be a Daily Bible Reader: It takes about seventy-two hours to read the Bible completely through at an average reading speed. Fill your heart with the word of God daily.
10. Bible Classes: If you are not attending Bible Classes Sunday at 9:30 am, and Wednesday at 7:00 pm, you are missing out on some great blessings. Thanks to all who teach these classes.
11. Area Events: (a) August 19th – 22nd – Gospel Meeting – Georgia Road Church of Christ – Speaker Mel Futrell – Time Weeknights 7:00 (see bulletin board for Lesson Topics), (b) September 15th – Youth Rally – Sylacauga Church of Christ – Speakers David Bass and Chad Dollahite – Time 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, and (c) September 29th – Ladies Day – Luverne Church of Christ – Speaker Janice Claunch.
We noticed last week in the first part of I John chapter 3 that John paints a portrait of what a child of God, or Christian, should look like. In the last half of the chapter we will see that these children love each other with a special love. In fact, this love serves as a proof that we have “passed out of death into life.”
“For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.” (vs. 11) That love is to be shared by Christians is a definite underlying theme of the book of I John…and the entire Bible. This love is contrasted with the hate that Cain showed for his brother, Abel, when he murdered him in the field. (vs. 12) Feelings of jealousy and envy have no place between God’s people. “Where jealousy and selfish ambition exist there will be disorder and every vile practice.” (James 3:16 emp. Added) One who “hates” is no better than a murderer, and “no murderer has eternal life.” (vs. 15) Do you love your Christian family?
We know what real love is because Jesus “laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.” (vs. 16) Sacrifice and real love are inseparable. When we truly love, self-sacrifice will be a natural result. When we say we love, but are unwilling to sacrifice time, money, comfort, or anything else for the object of our affection, that is not love. Real love is always proving itself by actions. “Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.” (vs. 18)
True religion boils down to this: “And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as He has commanded us. Whoever keeps His commandments abides in God and God in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.” (vs. 23-24) If your love, both for God and your fellow man, are not backed up by actions, repent today and LIVE!
- - - - Darrell Powell
Don’t just own a Bible; read it!
Walnut Street Church of Christ
P.O. Box 551
Greenville, Alabama 36037-0551