Recently I thought of Jesus' words to His disciples when He told them, "Therefore every scribe instructed concerning the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure things new and old" (Matthew 13:52).
The occasion which had brought that verse to mind was one in which I was feeling very much like that householder of whom Christ spoke. My wife and I were cleaning out some cabinets and sorting through the contents of boxes in preparation for a little remodeling work being done in a couple of rooms in our house.
In the process, along with the junk we discarded, we discovered a number of long-forgotten treasures.
Some were newer, like the tablecloths from the church which were recently discovered missing as we were preparing for our Homecoming dinner. Apparently, at some point we had brought them home to be washed, where they had gotten lost under a stack of other items.
But most of the treasures we pulled out were older. I doubt that any of the items we found are worth anything monetarily -- not even the autograph of former heavyweight champ, Evander Holyfield.
But some of them did hold sentimental value for us, especially those which were connected to our children when they were little. We came upon Girl Scout sashes, Little League baseball uniforms, and several pictures, such as the one of my son when he met the Power Rangers. Even my grandchildren were impressed by that photo.
God has provided an even greater treasury for us to explore -- the Bible. As we read God's Word, we discover all kinds of valuable truths. Some of them are old. We may rediscover a few of those stories we were taught as children in Sunday School.
We might be reminded of verses that God used to help us through some tough times in our lives. We may be reunited with truths which once helped us put our faith in Christ and assisted in our growth in grace.
But we also might find some new treasures in those familiar pages. No matter how many times I read the Bible, I often see something that I hadn't noticed previously. And those truths of God's Word are truly timeless and relevant today. God may use one of those old, familiar promises to assure you or comfort you regarding a current situation you're facing.
The stories, principles, and truths haven't changed -- and by the way, they never will. But the Spirit of God can make them alive and new to us. God can use His Word to touch our lives in fresh ways -- to bring conviction of sin, to strengthen our faith, to soothe us with His love, or in whatever way we may need it.
If you haven't been regularly reading God's Word, you're missing out on the opportunity to find some valuable treasures for your life.
It's great if we can try to read through the whole Bible. Not only does it help us see the bigger picture, but sometimes we'll find the most helpful tidbits of truth in the most unlikely places.
But if nothing else, read a few verses or a chapter each day with your heart set on hearing something from God. Keep reading until God reveals one of those valuable nuggets of gold for your life.
Let's also remember that those treasures from the Bible aren't meant simply to stir up old memories or to bring us pleasure. God wants to use them to do a remodeling job on us, as He continues to make us more into the image of His Son.
So let's recommit ourselves today to being treasure hunters in God's Word.
The Rev. Tony W. Elder is pastor of Wesley Community Fellowship Church. He can be reached at 770-483-3405 or by email at RevTElder@aol.com.