Trash or Treasure
I am sitting in Barnes and Noble with a Sugar Detox book open upon my lap. Sugar is my friend, and if the recipes alone weren’t inspiring enough to make me give up sugar, the picture perfect food placement certainly is. I turn around and behind me notice a man with his Bible open, reading glasses in hand.
The image strikes me to the core.
Two nights ago we sat on our front porch with dear friends as they shared with us what is currently happening in the world today with Bible translation. I have been ignorant of the fact that the Bible is so close to being translated into every known language to mankind. There are over 7000 total languages spoken and the Bible has been translated into 5000 plus.
There are roughly 1643 languages that still need Scripture. Then the Bible would be translated into every known tongue of man!
As we sat on the porch, our friend shared a beautiful story of his eyewitness account of a woman in Africa who had just received the Word of God for the first time in her native tongue. He watched her come out of the house carrying something delicately within her hands. Flowers surrounded the book she was holding. And as he witnessed the petals dance to the ground, our friend saw the precious book she was holding in her hand: the Word of God.
It was treasure. It was gold.
And my heart broke as I thought of all the Bibles here in America gathering dust upon our shelves.
The Word of God is treasure. It is encased in the flowery fragrance of the breath of God. And yet, we hold it loosely within our hands. We only read it when we want, and bend it to say what our itching ears want to hear.
The man behind me in B&N has been pouring over the words within the pages for about two hours now. He knows the secret: Life is contained within these pages.
The question begs to be asked: Would I be ashamed to open this book in front of all to see in a coffee shop? Would I be willing to put down the next great read and pick up the transformative Word of God instead? Where is my delight?
It has often been touted that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. What is my trash, what do I treasure?
Jesus says that God's "word is truth" (John 17:17). Solomon in all his wisdom wrote, "Every word of God is pure" (Proverbs 30:5), and the Psalmist sang, "The words of the LORD are pure words, like silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times" (Psalm 12:6).
We have this treasure...the Word of God. The Word was, the Word is, and the Word will be. Sara Groves sang it years ago,
“And the Word I need
Is the Word that was
Who put on flesh to dwell with us.
In the beginning…”
We have everything we need contained within the pages of our Bible. Christ Himself, the hope of glory, is the Word. Let us not treat these inspired words as trash. May we treasure this book more than our next breath.
Need Hope? “And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Romans 5:5
Feeling Discouraged? “In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” Romans 8:37
Desiring Peace? “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27
The Word of God is a weapon against the enemy, a comfort for the brokenhearted, it produces strength for the weary. We cannot afford to let this book be reduced to mere rubbish. We are unable to live the abundant life when our Bibles lay unopened upon our shelves.
Would we be willing to sell all we have in order to gain that “pearl of great price”, just as the merchant did in Matthew 13:46? “When he discovered a pearl of great value, he sold everything he owned and bought it!”
What is my trash? What do I treasure?
May my heart echo the Psalmist's,"Your word I have treasured in my heart ... " Psalm 119:11